I'm not a fan of extracts, either. They tend to add a weird artificial flavor that I don't like.
I usually get fresh fruits at farmer's markets or when it's on sale for dirt cheap at the grocery store, then I wash it, cut it/clean it as necessary, and freeze it before I add it to my secondary fermenter.
When you add the fruits has an impact on the flavors that end up in the final product. When you add it to the boil, you get more carmelized or "cooked" flavors. When you add it during primary fermentation, you get the fruit flavor but often the aroma isn't as strong. In secondary you get better aroma and a fresher fruit flavor in my opinion. That is just based on my own personal experience from trying different things; I haven't done a rigorous double blind experiment or anything.
Last edited by weirdboy; 01-13-2010 at 05:15 PM.