I like NY Bagels on Falls of Neuse, too. One in Cary is supposed to be owned by same people but I don't think they're as good in Cary - also more expensive, go figure.
As for lox, they do hand cut it at Southern Season or at least they used to before change of ownership. It is absurdly expensive but the best I've found around here. Harris Teeter has prepackaged Admiral's Norwegian Salmon that's much better than their acme trimmings. It was recently on sale for half price. They also carry whitefish salad that's quite good on a bagel..
NY Bagels on Falls just south of 540 is my current favorite locally. That does not necessarily mean that they are all that great nor even necessarily the real deal, just that they are the best of a somewhat disappointing bunch.
Don't bother with the new bagel place in Celebration at Six Forks. They're not good.
And most of the appetizing, such as it is, that's available in the area comes from Acme in Brooklyn. That's not terrible but you can buy it in HT without the markup. Of course, no one in Raleigh at least slices their own lox.
I believe there is a thread similar to this floating around. Describe good lox? I mean I've been to Russ and Daughters in NY.. don't think there is anything like that around here. People seem to like the bagel's at two Cary establishments and I don't mind Bagel's On The Hill in the same center as The Pig...