During my tech-life I had to deal with number of Web Hosting providers and truth to be said I have had extremely pleasant experience with many of them although I don't use any but two of them now.
Truth to be said I picked them because they offered Debian based dedicated, VPS or shared, although on shared it doesn't matter if it's Debian or not but I'm so extreme when it comes to GNU/Linux.
LayeredTech.com: my first experience with them was when it was my task to hunt for a decent dedicated servers provider and since I was the administrator to be I picked them because they have a good reputation and they provide Debian and Ubuntu! my experience with them were so good, they are fantastic people although I don't remember flagging any of our tickets to them as critical but their support was always fast, it's worth mentioning that our machine with Layered Tech would have been running without the need to reboot for almost two years now but in real life we needed to reboot for kernel upgrades.
Linode.com: One of my freelance projects needed a decent hosting that is not as pricey as dedicated hosting and not as restricted as shared hosting so the decision was to go with VPS solution and again because the guys at linode.com have decent reputation I picked them and honestly never needed to contact them other than requesting upgrades and/or downgrades; our VPS account, seriously I have never had any problem with them not a single glitch.
Dreamhost.com I wonder who don't know about Dreamhost.com, they are really good at least in the big picture of it, many of my personal small and petite projects are running on dreamhost and actually on the same account. Their accounts are highly flexible and you could use your account for various things starting from hosting your blog ending with setting up a VPN over your account or even running a personal Debian repository and again they run Debian. Although they get many glitches but they are so transparent about it and so quick in fixing them too considering the large setup they have.
One of my dreams other than studying at MIT which I cannot afford now is working in an internships with Dreamhost.com, it's not a feasible dream, anyway.
If you have been into hosting business as in reselling or were hired as a system administrator then you would definitely value decent providers such as the mentioned above.
NOTE: Dreamhost link has a referral parameter, if you don't like the idea just go to dreamhost.com
[tags]setting up a vpn, kernel upgrades, gnu linux, layeredtech, freelance projects, downgrades, dedicated servers, first experience, glitches, glitch, dreamhost, big picture, worth mentioning that, repository, good reputation, linux, truth, blog[/tags]