Steak is like stereos, everyone thinks they're an expert.
You can't get USDA Prime like your parents and grandparents could; it
just doesn't exist anymore. (You can still get 1st quality steaks,
but you'll pay, and USDA Prime is not quite the guarantee of quality
that it was). The USDA changed their grading system in 1987 to lower
standards and to include the inexpensive, lean "select" grade, and
cattle ranchers have been raising cattle to meet these lower
standards---and leaner standards for inexpensive beef---ever since.
That's why you see branded beef like "Certified Angus" etc in the
grocery stores now; these are equivalent, roughly, to the better
"choice" cuts under the USDA's old system. To get first-quality
steaks, you have to go the specialty butcher route. I haven't had
Omaha steaks. The steaks served at some of the finest restaurants in
the country (Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Trotter's in Chicago) come from
Niman Ranch (http://www.nimanranch.com).
Great chefs are raving about grass-fed beef, which I'm skeptical
about, but hey, Alice Waters probably has better taste than I do:
http://www.alderspring.com/ If business keeps picking up for me, maybe
I'll get some to try.
If you want to know what steak is supposed to taste like, what you
have to do is start spending serious money at the best steakhouses in
your area. If you're in the lower 48, Ruth's Chris is probably within
a day's drive; so is Morton's. Black Angus, The Outback, etc do not
Others have pointed out, correctly, that the better the
meat, the less you want to do to it. A little salt and pepper and
butter is best. Kosher salt is unnecessary but if you think it's a
nice touch, go for it. If you really like pepper on your steak, crush
peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Coat one side only of the steak,
this is the side you'll cook first. Don't do this for the first time
with a premium piece of meat; it's easy to overdo cracked pepper.
Let me repeat, the better the meat, the less you want to do to it.
Unless you're just grabbing any old piece of meat on sale at the
grocery store, this means the following are offenses that cry out to
Other heavy seasonings---be careful with cracked pepper!
Tenderizing with a club (this had to be a troll)
Cooking steaks past medium rare 
Most steak sauces
The corollary to this is, if you insist on doing any of the above
things to steak, you can save a lot of money by looking for the
cheapest meat you can find. Do try thoroughly tenderizing
grocery-store pork cutlets with a club sometime, though.
All this nonsense about steaks having to be cooked over coals or an
open flame is just macho posturing. The best steak houses broil their
steaks for a reason. You want *really* good beef with wood-smoke
flavor, you do a *roast*, not a steak, on something like a Hasty-Bake
(http://www.hastybake.com/) with hardwood charcoal and wood chips.
The reason you broil steak is, as others have pointed out, you just
won't get the temperatures necessary for steak on a barbeque. You
need high temperatures to cook the meat faster than it can lose
moisture. All this stuff about locking in the juices by searing, not
cutting the meat or piercing it with a fork, etc, is superstition: if
you're fussing around cutting the meat, it's READY TO EAT ALREADY.
You brown (sear) steak so that it looks nice and tastes good. You
don't cut it or pierce it so that it looks appealing and professional
when you serve it. You cook it fast at high temperatures so that it
doesn't dry out. It's that simple.
Ok, so here's how I cook steak, not that different from what others
here have posted, but there are a couple details that are important:
Preheat oven to at least 450 degrees. I leave the broiler off because
I like to sear the steak in the pan.
Heat a cast iron frying pan  on medium-high heat. Don't let it get
to smoking, you want it to be just at the point where a drop of water
will dance on it.
Add a liberal amount of butter, about 2 tablespoons or a quarter
stick. Wait for it to stop foaming. Don't wait until it starts
smoking, butter burns easily.
Add steak, pepper and salt side down. Sear for one minute.
Turn and quickly put the whole pan in the oven. Leave it in there 3-7
minutes depending on the starting temperature of the steak, its
Remove and let the steak settle for a couple minutes before eating.
If it's an unremarkable piece of meat, I usually spend this time by
deglazing the pan with minced shallots or garlic and a liberal amount
of the red wine I'm drinking with the steak. Reduce this down and
pour over the meat. Otherwise, just pour the butter and juices left
in the pan over the steak right before serving.
Alternatively, just heat up the broiler, salt and pepper the steaks
lightly and broil them about 5 minutes give or take. Melt a little
butter with some chopped fresh parsley and pour over the steaks.
Cooking times are VERY approximate: you just have to get a feel for
the size of steak you like, the typical temperature in your kitchen
(if you let the steak get to room temperature, and this is the only
way you'll get consistency), how hot your oven actually gets, how rare
you like your steak, etc. Acquire this feel with grocery-store
I'm conservative in what I drink with steak: a nice cabernet, usually.
Once in a while a merlot. I'm not much of a wine snob: I mostly drink
cheap South American reds from Trader Joe's. If I'm in the mood for
beer, one of the better microbrew pale ales. Full Sail is nice and
widely available. Imported beer is always stale on the west coast,
and usually stale on the east coast too. You'll pay an arm and a leg
for fresh imported beer from a specialty shop, and the better US
microbrews are usually more interesting.
What else to eat with steak? I like to start with sliced tomatoes
with blue cheese, or a fresh salad with a nice vinaigrette. If I'm
really hungry, Trader Joe's carries french onion soup frozen in
individual portions---better than you can do at home without making
your own stock from scratch, and a lot less fuss. Soup or salad is
best eaten while the steak is being prepared, or before. Steamed
broccoli or asparagus with lemon juice and butter. Red potatoes with
parsley and butter. You get the idea.
Cook tuna steaks the same way but reduce cooking time drastically to
keep it RARE. Grocery-store ahi tuna is usually decent, too.
Experiment with other fish steaks; I've had interesting results with
inexpensive shark steaks.
Steak is tricky; don't serve steak to guests you want to impress
unless you fix first-quality steak often enough to get it perfect
 If you order steak at a restaurant cooked past medium rare, you're
likely to get the dregs of their freezer.
 Lodge is crap, but if you're buying new, it's what you'll probably
be stuck with. What you really want is a cast iron frying pan with a
machined flat cooking surface. Look at your Lodge pan---see that
nubbly cooking surface? The best cast iron pans have a smooth flat
surface. Used to be they didn't really cost any more, either, you
just had to look a bit longer for them. These days, you probably have
to try thrift stores, junk stores, yard sales, etc.