As someone who develops such sites for a living, I would suggest to keep things simple and just get the minimum hardware/hosting you can get by with. Time/money you spend trying to get your website scalable before it is necessary could be better spent getting and keeping paying customers. Once you have the demand, then you'll have a justification for 'moving to the cloud'.
Any kind of automatic cloud scalability is going to add substantial complexity and maintenance requirements. Unless a key selling feature of your service is scalability, I would not build for it in the beginning.
Use TortoiseSVN with beanstalkapp.com for version control, continuous integration, staging, etc. It is fantastically easy to use. You can set up an automatic deployment to a staging server on each commit, and then do manual deployments to your production server.
Another tip, you'll save on hosting costs if you go with a PHP/Linux/MySQL stack instead of Windows/ASP.NET/SQL. A single dedicated server at host like pair.com can probably host millions of hits on a carefully tuned application, and they throw in free/discounted hardware upgrades (with almost no downtime and no administrative work on your part) every few years. I could not be happier with their service.