Another component to look for is aging. When an animal is butchered the muscles become tough, but over time the muscles soften.
Freshly butchered meat is tough and chewy. The muscles need to relax before you try cooking them. A reputable supplier only sells meat that has been aged properly. There are two ways to age: dry and wet.
Dry aging is more expensive and often difficult to find. The meat is hung in a temperature and humidity controlled environment and allowed to rest for a set period of time. Eleven days or so has proven to be the magic number here where tenderness no longer increases. One of the reasons dry aging is more expensive is that you have considerable moisture loss and therefore a higher cost per pound.
Wet aging occurs when meat is packed into vacuum-sealed packaging and allowed to rest in its own liquid. Many consumers prefer wet aging because dry aging sometimes imparts a musty, basementy aroma.
Hopefully this gives you some food for thought!