Yeah, I would definitely want to know if PHP safemode was on or not if I was choosing a host. That's definitely something the newbie webmaster will not know what to look for and could cause them a lot of troubles.
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Yeah that works too, but Would be just faster if it was listed on features list or even better if they had link from "php" in their features page to page that give phpinfo(). Just suggesting this from client point of view