The main thing about tats is to get things that really don't mean anything. I know that's probably different than what most people say. I have tons of them, they're all designed by me, (which is another tip, don't get some cardboard cut out that you might see on someone else someday) and they're all tribal artwork.
As for who I go to, (not that this will help you since this is in Colorado) I go to Rich Ives at Steel City Tattoo...world renown, he's in every tat mag every month. He's won the "Oscar" equivilant for tats more than anyone.
As for choosing the right person, just look at their awards, look at their artwork on somebody preferably, and remember, you pay for what you get. It's worth it to pay more.