I need to create a map with SRTM data but use contours instead of the grid data. I can use ESRI software to create contours but they aren't the nicest looking, mostly in flat areas. Does a good contour already exist for download somewhere? My Area of interest is North Vancouver, BC Canada and accross the border into the US (almost to Seattle).
If you're looking for a continuous DEM spanning Canada and the USA, you might want to check out the EarthEnv DEM90 data set. It's reprocessed product from SRTM and ASTER and gap filled so the accuracy is a bit better than using straight SRTM. You can download it by tile or by corner coordinates so that should help with data management.
The aesthetic problem is likely due to your choice of contour interval, the resolution of the data set that you're using, and the scale of your area of interest. If your study area is a couple square Km and you're using 90m resolution data, it's not going to be pretty (or accurate).