There are as many answers to the thread starter's question as there are types of hosting. Purchasing web hosting is kind of like buying a car.
You have the:
1) Flashy Used car salesman types (Those flashy oversellers)
2) The bottom of the barrel had-to-tow-it-in-here types (Hosting for life for a buck)
3) The pure lemon (Here today gone tomorrow with all your cash and files)
4) The family dealer, comfortable and mostly reliable (Honest hosting with middle of the road pricing)
5) The Luxury showrooms, You sit in it and it makes you coffee while moving you around at the speed of light (Top shelf networks and support, you only need to know how to call them up)
6) Lastly, you have the elite custom showroom (More than all but a select few can afford)
Hosting comes in all sizes, shapes, colors and prices. All of the above 'types' can be around long enough to make some money, however only a few will manage to stick around for the long haul. I would say the best networks and support will come out on top every time.
The only downside to all this is that there is no Consumer Reports for Web Hosting yet...