I definately agree that if you only plan on hosting 50-100 clients then CPanel may not be your best choice as far as price goes (unless you go with a NOC like Burst that offers licenses for very cheap).
I personally use CPanel, but I have only heard good things about H-Sphere.
You may also want to consider getting a Rackshack box with a free Plesk or Ensim license?
As for free control panels, I've heard of one called Webmin, though I've never used it myself.
Jay » [email protected] AIM » FDrive Support
Front Drive™ » Advanced multi-domain solutions
It is more complicated than CPanel. Resellers have problem learning it too.
User panel is better and has lot of features.
I myself had problem enabling and disabling some features and limitting thers. For example a customer can even remove its primary domain (removing all files). He can even add more domains (host more domains in his account).
As another example I wanted to remove Contact and Billing options from User panel (it sends emails to end users from server's main domain and resellers do not like this. They do not want their customers to receive emails from main hosting company).
CPanel is more straight in my opinion. I ordered another CPanel server today while a H-Sphere was cheaper. If you need a H-Sphere I sugget you to look at eishost.com (everydayinternetsolutions) . The owner is here by the ID "everyday" or "everydayinternet".
I do agree that there is a larger learning curve with H Sphere but it is due to the fact that there are so many more options than C Panel.
We have created some custom docs and worked with psofts writers to come up with easily understandable ways to do things. Once you are up to speed with H Sphere you'll never go back to another control panel.
Matt Kelly WCiT.net Managed and Unmanaged
Budget VPS, Cloud and Colocation
Hsphere offers better control over domain management I feel. As a consumer I preferred Hsphere over Cpanel because of it's ability to have real multiple domain hosting, not just pointers that cpanel has.
If HSphere was sending emails from the main domain of the setup, then that's more of a problem with you using your hosting company name in the hostname of the machine than anything else, same with CPanel when emails come from [email protected] etc.
As for removing billing, this can now be done in HSphere, you can turn all billing functionality off.
I'm interested in H-Sphere but I'd like to know how many sites can be put in a single H-Sphere server (e.g. P4 with 512 MB RAM)? Can it handle 25 or more large sites (some with lots of mySQL activity)?