I was just wondering who your first ever paid hosting experience was with and are you still with them. Here is mine...
A superb host who I joined in February 2002 and they are still up and running. Their prices are not the cheapest but their support is top notch. I moved after around 6 months of being with them as I realised their were cheaper plans available and I needed more space/bandwidth but as a beginner entering the scary world of paid hosting they were absolutely brilliant and taught me a lot.
Since then I have been with four other hosts and I have to say I have been very lucky as they have been just as good.