I feel somewhat strange making free advertisement for a company – but on the other hand good companies deserve to be known. For few years I was using shared hosting service. Main problem with it was lack of reliability and dependence on administrators – and I wanted freedom!
Few months ago I started using Virtual Private Server solution from Tilaa and I am very happy with them. It’s not expensive (7€/month), network connection is fast, there is plenty of space (10GB), I never had a downtime, responses to support questions are always sent within few hours, overall, the service is great. And the most important – I have root access to a full debian server where I can experiment with new ideas and run a bunch of different software (website, gallery, mail, mailman, jabber, buddycloud, task sync, etc.) without asking anyone for permission. They also make a backup for me, which costs extra, but I am confident that if I screw something up, no data and time will be lost.
Update: One minus – they don’t allow Tor servers.
Update: Another minus – backup service is expensive. For a smallest server with a full disk it can cost 10 times the server price itself.