Gotta agree, StartSSL has a serious business model that really does work in their best interest. Yeah, sure they give out free certs, until/unless you have the slightest 'professional' website, (like a portfolio site, with the sole intent of landing a job for example), and as others have pointed out, revocations cost more then a certificate from someone else to begin with.
Why is that part about revocations an issue in the first place you might ask? Because their poor user interface lead you to making a mistake that can only be done with a revocation, of course. Stay away from StartSSL and just pay good money for a cheap cert somewhere; a wildcard cert. if need be.
I learned this lesson the hard way *trying* to use StartSSL myself, and I have serious regrets having done so, especially after having to cough up all the documentation like a scan of my passport and more. You have been warned.
In contrast, the new service from 'Let's Encrypt' looks like a well-deserved breath of fresh air, and I can appreciate their list of business partners, especially EFF, the Mozilla Foundation, and the Linux Foundation.