Where can I buy orchids?
You can get healthy orchids on-line, at orchid shows and many green houses, you may even have one in your area. Plants are often available for sale at Orchid Shows, and at Orchid Society meetings. If you have an orchid society in your area, go to a meeting and ask.
For many of us, "big box stores" such as Target, Lowe's and Home Depot, the grocery store--or other concerns which offer houseplants as a sideline are sources for orchids. However, one must be very careful as often the staff watering the plants have no idea what is appropriate for orchids and they often have root rot if they have been there for any length of time. If you can see that the plant has several viable aerial roots, no insects, and otherwise looks healthy, you are probably safe in purchasing the plant. Look for fungus infestations on the leaves and discoloring at the base or crown of the plant. If it is discolored, don't buy. Isolating plants, particularly ones from this type of situation, is always a good idea.
One website, OGRES, was developed to rate orchid growers. There are flaws in the system, as you can post more than once and "flame" someone, and it relies on people voluntarily posting (and people are more likely to post when they have a problem rather than when they are happy), but it does give links for catalogs and give you lists.
Once you have found that plant you can't live without, post a query on the Orchid Forum and ask what people's experience has been. Asking, whether from your on-line acquantances, or from folks you meet at orchid Societies is always a good idea.