Nope, never have seen or used any of those. Previously I hosted out of my house on my own network. Being a network engineer I had no problem. Now my hardware is starting to get dated and really do not want to sink thousands in to updating things so figure it is time to move to a hosting solution.
Yes they are individual sites. As for how they are controlled it does not matter. I am so used to command line access as root that this is new/foreign to me at the moment.
I get the feeling you'll fel more "at home" with a VPS than a shared hosting account. You can do your own server administration so you can opt for cheaper, unmanaged VPSes. A VPS will also give you some protection from the possibility of having your account suspended for server resources abuse. Given your stated maximum budget, you can easily afford a good VPS.
(2-4 million unique page views per month and growing)
When choosing a VPS as others recommended above, if you're using a control panel, make sure to purchase enough RAM. A guaranteed minimum of RAM (not just 'burstable') that exceeds recommendations will likely bring increased stability in a VPS environment, among other factors. Good luck
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If you have that big of a budget and you only plan on hosting these four sites, getting a VPS may be a good solution for you - you can get one with good specs, maybe even get it managed too, to host these four sites - it may work out very well for you
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