Like other foods, freshness does matter. I may have been satisfied with a slab of Jimmy Dean when I was a kid, but you've got to constantly aim higher, right? So my current favorite sausages come from Lockford Meat and Sausages in Lockford, CA. (No web page, so link to yahoo)
You want a great sausage, come visit this place. I've been eating their sausages and beef jerky since I was a kid and still stop in there when I'm driving through. They've got plenty of variety to keep you coming back to try more, but some of the more popular are the Brats. They sell these at some local farmers markets as well and it seems like people come for more after trying them at the farmers market. They've got a couple dozen different sausages plus marinated beef, beef jerky, bacon and a few other options.
The beef jerky at this place is a revelation. This is not your dried leathery jerky you grab as you're rushing through the 7-11... This stuff is amazing. Both the regular and the teriyaki are awesome.
Want to get some of my favorites? Try the spicy italian, the chorizo, and the apple sausages. It doesn't matter how you cook em, these sausages are excellent.
This place has gotten quite popular over the years with everyone from families to bikers and expect that you may have to wait in line if you show up on a weekend.
Just look for the cow as you drive by... and do as the cow says and get some "Jerky"