I've periodically checked here when searching for a new location to get a server, but I'm definitely not a regular. What I am though, is a seasoned veteran of signing up for hosting, reseller accounts and dedicated servers. So maybe my suggestions might help someone on the hunt.
I originally started out at ADDR.com, YEARS ago. Back before they changed their site to what it is today. Hey, it was great "cheap" hosting for the time. My only issue with them was lack of support. Maybe it's better these days, but they were always quick to suspend if I was late on payment, but not so quick in helping me get back online. All in all, if you are good at paying bills (I think that's the case for any host though ), addr is a good place. But the cheap hosts are a dime a dozen out there.
Then I started graduating into reseller accounts since I could create many accounts but only pay 1 price. Seemed more efficient. I tried out a place called "Huge Hosting", not sure if they're still around anymore, but they used that Ensim (which I found to be a pain IMHO), of course it was all I knew at the time, but man it was great. They had good support after a few incidents and I had direct contacts to a few guys that were over those type servers. Support was good, but there's nothing worse than a down server and no one answering their phone. Well, I finally realized I could get better support and moved to a local company called 800 hosting.
800 hosting gave me a dedicated server, since pricing was getting reasonable and my business was growing. I had this feeling of, "their local, just down the road, so I'll get the help I need". Sure, they were pretty helpful but it seemed to be on their own time. Had a hard drive crash eventually and 4 days later, I was back online and had to recreate all my sites from the slave. Beating. Lots of pawning of work and voice mails involved. They also had a lot of backbone issues causing connectivity problems. It always seemed their site would be online and fine, but my server would have issues. Then I finally asked why and they told me I was put on some IRC line, of course, then asked to be moved to the "good" line.
While I was on my stint with 800, I was having some problems with CPANEL (which is I think the best admin software for non server techie people like me). While over at the cpanel forums asking for help, I posted asking if anyone could help me. This one guy messages me and offers his help. His name is Danny and he offers a monthly fee to basically manage my server for me. Kind of take it out of my hands. Danny runs Alpha Omega Hosting and has changed my whole outlook on hosting providers.
I have approximately 6 dedicated servers, 4 reseller accounts and 2 simple host accounts. Sure, it's not that much, but it's probably more of an average between the average host joe and big companies. Alpha Omega either runs the server or helps me manage all of my dedicated servers. I currently use Alpha Omega, Serverbeach, Serverpronto, E3 and Site 5. The reseller accts and host accts aren't that important, so I can handle up on them. Since I've been with Alpha Omega, I've realized what a difference support makes with hosting and have looked back on the past hosting providers wondering how I made it through those times. Danny and his guys at Alpha are quick to respond by phone, IM or email. It's a personalized support I've never had and well worth the money.
So when you're searching for hosting, price should always be a concern, no doubt. But if the price interferes with support, then you can probably quadruple the price point along with the stress that comes with it. If your site(s) are your livelihood, like mine are to me, support should supercede price every time. Just make sure if you go with "cheap", make sure the service that comes with it is not "cheap".
Best All Around Host I've used: AlphaOmegaHosting.com
(best recommendation hands down)
Top Honorary Mention: Serverbeach.com
(good priced hosting solutions and quick support system)
Top Honorary Mention: E3.com
(good price and pretty good support)
And just in case anyone is curious, my only affiliation with any of these hosts have only been being a customer of theirs at one time or another, or currently.
Hope this helps and sorry for the long post. Feel free to contact me personally if you want more info about any of the one's I've used. I can't really comment on anyone I haven't used.
Thanks Tina! I think I first signed on with AlphaOmega maybe a couple of years ago. Initially they managed a couple of dedicated servers I had, then I eventually moved most of my main business to their servers. The nature of our business requires the need for servers spread out geographically, but I try to keep what I can with those guys. I can't say enough about them.
One thing I forgot to mention about "Huge Hosting" ... haha, "Sorry about that last bit of money I didn't pay you guys, but your people screwed me over!!" I doubt they read this, but you never know. If there's any consolation, I still use the HUGE HOSTING enormous coffee/soup cup they sent! It's great for oatmeal and soup.