If you go on vacation in the northeast you'll find that it's much, much cheaper to cook your own lobster than buying it at a restaurant. That's particularly true this past year (2012) and this year (2013) because the price of lobster in Maine is down and you can find it for as little as $3.50 a pound.
Of course you'll have to be staying somewhere with a kitchen and you'll find that a lot of the time it's cheaper to rent a house than stay in a hotel for a week. Rent a house or stay in a bed and breakfast. In a pinch stay in a hotel with kitchenettes, but sometimes they don't have a lot of cookware so you'll have to bring your own. Most cottages, cabins, and house rentals will have a stockpile of pots and pans from the owners and left by previous renters. Previous renters often leave a decent selection of spices as well, but you'll still need to bring some of your own or pick some up at the nearest market.
Step 1: What You'll Need
You'll also need spices.
Olive Oil or butter
An old bay style spice mix is cliche tradition . . . we had a generic that I like to call Faux Bay.
And a big ass pot to cook them in.
A gas stove is nice to have. Electrics take a LOOOOOONG time to bring 2 or 3 gallons to boil.
Step 2: A Flavored Boil
Add some Faux Bay seasoning. I used about 2 gallons of water, enough the buggers would sink beneath and be covered by two inches of water, and 2 tablespoons of Faux Bay. I added the zest of one lemon and then the rest of them once I'd reserved the juice for smoothing else and about three tablespoons of olive oil.
Toss it all together and get it on the stove on high heat to bring it up to a boil.
Step 3: Prepping the Condemned
1) Place the tip of a chef's knife between their eyes on the top of their heads (or what you imagine to be a lobster's head), then in a quick motion stab down and slice the thing's head in two.
I never do this. It would just let too much water in and rob you of flavor.
2) Do nothing special. Just toss them in head down. I've never had them flip flop around.
3) Give them a ten minute spa job in Chez Freezer. They'll sleep like the dead through any and all unpleasantness.
Step 4: Delicious Murder
Step 5: Service, Sauce, Debate
What to serve with your lobster? Melted butter? Perhaps. Why not a quick and rough, beurre blanc instead?
Is boiling lobster the best way to prepare it? I doubt it. I think steaming it is better. You end up with less water all over yourself and your plate and maybe you get a touch more flavor, more sweetness from it.