Trig, you've got a very realistic expectation for a budget, maybe a litle too realistic, but that's okay. What's cheap for one person could be uber expensive for another. I'm just glad to see that someone is willing to pay for what they are expecting instead of the other way around.
What I would recommend is that you gather up a list of 10 companies that interest you, send each of their sales/customer service teams a list of questions. See who answers you and how fast they do that. Whittle your list down to 5-6 companies.
Then contact their support departments to see what kind of response times you get. Whittle your list down to 2-4. Come back on here (check Google, as well) for reviews and get your list down to 2-3, then ask for recommendations on those companies.
I've always said that the more homework someone does when researching companies, the higher probability they'll have of a long term partnership with their hosting provider.
Douglas Hazard - Certifiable Sports Junkie and Sports Community Enthusiast
Host of Two Cents Radio - Follow @TwoCentsRadio on Twitter (@BearlyDoug on Twitter)
I'm up and running on clustered.net. With 4,5 ghz Guaranteed, 3072 RAM and 1800 monthly bandwidth. I'm so pleased with both support and the lightning speed. In my calculation I'm saving over 20 hr a year publishing posts. And days on other tasks. Time for vacation maybe
10 support tickets so far - all answered within 10 minutes.
Running Directadmin as panel, but considering Cpanel w Fantastico. Doesn't that include free Noah's Classified?