As far as living in an apartment, it depends on the breeder. I would suggest detailing your plan/commitment to getting your dog the appropriate level of exercise.
You will find that in Goldens we do unfortunately have many genetic/health issues. In my opinion the only way to go is with a breeder who is aware of and actively trying to eliminate them through testing. That would mean a reputable breeder. I know that sometimes reputable breeders can produce a dog with a problem despite the careful testing/planning, just as a backyard breeder can get lucky and produce a healthy dog without know what health or genetic traits are behind their dogs. A reputable breeder does not guarantee a perfect dog, but it definitely stacks the deck in your favor.
This is a hot topic and you may see some very passionate posts about reputable breeders versus backyard breeders. I hope your thread does not go too far off track
As far as breeders choice on puppy selection, each has their own thought. Some choose for you, some let you choose from the remaining puppies based on your order of "pick", some will narrow it down to two or three that fit you criteria. To me it would not make a difference. I would be comfortable with any of these options. If you are not, ask your potential breeders how they do their puppy selection.
A thought on a breeder that picks for you. This breeder has intimate knowledge of the temperament and personality trait of all the puppies, the mother, the father and potentially generations back. Also, they know when puppies at visitation time are not acting as they normally do. An example could be a puppy who is normally a " holy terror" activity level puppy being calm because they are tired or the calmest puppy being more active than the rest because they just woke up from a nap.
Of course, rescue is always a worthy option. Sometimes you can get lucky and find a puppy.
Good luck in your search.