I seem to recall seeing somewhere that some registry services will register the domain for you but retain actual ownership of the name itself; avoiding this would be my only real prerequisite besides the obvious wanting a good rate. I don't need hosting.
...so where do you register when you register your domains?
GoDaddy wins the pricewar (well, MyDomain had 'em by $.45 but lost the edge with a borked namesearch script). Thanks to all of you who replied.