Definitely if you want to develop anything that is more than trivial, you need to understand the hosting anyway. So roll your own VPS. I just was forced to change providers (the old one closed shop) and settled on http://serveraxis.com/ - Cheap SSD based VPS (2GB RAM, 16 GB disk, 2 TB bandwith - $28/mo no contract) and reasonable VPS with large disks, like +1 TB. Although for the large disk the default bandwidth is not adequate I think. I just can't think of any system that would need that much data but only have a monthly bandwidth allocation equal the disk size.