To find substitutions for melons in general, click here.
Melons are great all by themselves, though some people like to perk up their flavor by sprinkling lemon juice, salt, or liqueur on them.
Look for three things when selecting a melon: (1) Was it picked too soon? Each variety turns a certain color at maturity. If your melon isn't the right color, reject it. (2) Is it damaged? If it has soft spots, cracks, or mold, reject it. (3) Is it ripe? Even mature melons may need a few days to ripen fully. If a melon flunks either of the first two tests, don't buy it. If it passes those tests, but isn't ripe, just leave it on your kitchen counter for a few days until it reaches full flavor.
All melons should also be heavy for their size.