The fabrication of organic thin film transistors with highly reproducible characteristics presents a very challenging task. We have prepared and analyzed model pentacene thin film transistors under ultra-high vacuum conditions, employing surface analytical tools and methods. Intentionally contaminating the gold contacts and SiO2 channel area with carbon through repeated adsorption, dissociation, and desorption of pentacene proved to be very advantageous in the creation of devices with stable and reproducible parameters. We mainly focused on the device properties, such as mobility and threshold voltage, as a function of film morphology and preparation temperature. At 300 K, pentacene displays Stranski-Krastanov growth, whereas at 200 K fine-grained, layer-like film growth takes place, which predominantly influences the threshold voltage. Temperature dependent mobility measurements demonstrate good agreement with the established multiple trapping and release model, which in turn indicates a predominant concentration of shallow traps in the crystal grains and at the oxide-semiconductor interface. Mobility and threshold voltage measurements as a function of coverage reveal that up to four full monolayers contribute to the overall charge transport. A significant influence on the effective mobility also stems from the access resistance at the gold contact-semiconductor interface, which is again strongly influenced by the temperature dependent, characteristic film growth mode.