I'm shopping around for a dedicate server now, because I think my sites will soon outgrow its shared hosting account.
However, I know very little about dedicated hosting and would like to hear some opinions on what kind of specs I should be looking at. I am currently using about 50 GB of bandwidth/mo. I approximate my scripts to use about ~15% of the resources on a Xeon 2.4 GHz processor.
I also want some room for growth. I am also very price-sensitive.
That means a box, cPanel ($30'ish a month) plus a company such as PlatinumServerManagement for an additional $30 a month at least. Realistically I'd raise the budget to about ~$150 to get a nice box and all the bells you want included.
Would whm/cpanel be enough for my needs? I'm thinking, once I get the server configured correctly w/ the software I need, I just need to set up some sites and reboot if things go awry.
If you dont have admin skill it would be best to hire an admin or service to secure and update your server, coz otherwise sooner or later your box might get compromised and then its a lot more painfully to get back from there.
Cpanel just helps you add emails / domains etc it wont secure or optimize your server.
whm/cpanel is not a replacement for management.. If you are not a server admin, either get a managed server, or find a 3rd party management company ($30-$100/mo).
Have you considered Semi-dedicated Hosting? 4 - 8 accounts per server. Less overhead than VPS, better performance for the price. DopeDomains.com - 15,000 New Domains a day. indexed by Pagerank, backlinks, Hits, and Length.
I would recommend shopping around as it sounds like you'll definately need management. Lots of people here recommend platinum server management (PSM) but, depending upon your provider, it may be cheaper to go with a fully-managed dedicated service provider. The one good thing going for you is that you don't need much bandwidth, so you may be able to bargain down a little on that, but it sounds like you'll need a powerful to CPU to accomodate your growth.
You can find stuff that's 125 or less, but whether or not its reliable is something you'll have to find out. The cpanel license alone costs the provider $20 month + hardware costs + bandwidth costs + support costs. Probably more information than you wanted to know, but sometimes its good to understand that low price is not always the best value.