I remember watching an episode from the show "French Food at Home, with Laura Calder", (which by the way, is um.. quite easy on the eye), where she heated coarse salt on a pan, and would then cook a steak on it.
That's actually how my mother always cooked hamburgers when I was little, so I don't see why it wouldn't work for a steak. Just coat the bottom of the pan lightly with coarse salt (not gigantic crystals), heat really hot, lay in the meat. Turn over when nicely browned. If it's a really thick steak, I'd finish cooking it in the oven. Makes a nice salty crust.
And, oh yeah, make sure to have the exhaust fan on!