Aggregation of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide is strongly correlated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recent research has improved our understanding of the kinetics of amyloid fibril assembly and revealed new details regarding different stages in plaque formation. Presently, interest is turning toward studying this process in a holistic context, focusing on cellular components which interact with the Aβ peptide at various junctures during aggregation, from monomer to cross-β amyloid fibrils. However, even in isolation, a multitude of factors including protein purity, pH, salt content, and agitation affect Aβ fibril formation and deposition, often producing complicated and conflicting results. The failure of numerous inhibitors in clinical trials for AD suggests that a detailed examination of the complex interactions that occur during plaque formation, including binding of carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and metal ions, is important for understanding the diversity of manifestations of the disease. Unraveling how a variety of key macromolecular modulators interact with the Aβ peptide and change its aggregation properties may provide opportunities for developing therapies. Since no protein acts in isolation, the interplay of these diverse molecules may differentiate disease onset, progression, and severity, and thus are worth careful consideration.