So this is the second time I've had to post this because I'm an idiot and somehow published it originally while stripping out all of the text. Pretty annoying. To that end this is the short version. So on the recommendation of a friend i switched to Gandi for my hosting a year ago when I was looking for a new host. They were just launching their hosting service and were only charging $7.50 a month for it. This seemed pretty good and although it was a 'beta' featured they seemed to be on top of things. Unfortunately although things started good on Gandi they had a huge datacentre failure early on and my server never seemed to recover. Gandi support claimed everything was fine but it wasn't and there were serious 24/7 slowness issues with it. They recently announced that their beta period was over and starting in January they would be changing the price to $16 a month. This was the straw that broke the camel's back and I immediately decided it was time for a new host.
On the recommendation of a number of friends I settled on Dreamhost. Their service is pretty cheap but there was a of caveat, to not pay any sort of setup fee you have to pay for a year in advance which costs about $120. I wasn't really happy about this but luckily my friend had a coupon I could use to get $47 off of that price (it turns out these coupons are actually fairly common and he gets a kickback, which is fine by me). In the end that works out to about $7.50 a month which I was already happy with so I decided to go for it. After a year you can switch to monthly payments which I'll probably end up doing as I don't really like the concept of paying for 12 months of something in advance.
The migration to Dreamhost itself went great, very slick and easy. My domain name was about to expire and they even had a promo on where if I switched them to be my new namehost they would renew it for another year for free, so that was a nice bonus. Unfortunately I did run into a major problem though. There was some sort of serious bug with my new server communicating with the mysql databases, it was causing massive slowdowns/internal errors. (basically the site was completely unusable) I reported this to Dreamhost last night and at first they replied back that from what they could tell everything was fine! This was obviously not the reply I was hoping for as this wasn't the case so I replied back to that effect.
This morning there was unfortunately no new reply and my server was still completely screwed up. I submitted a new ticket to Dreamhost with very specific details and eventually they did get back to me that they were detecting a problem and would try to figure it out. Almost 24 hours after I reported the problem they did get finally get back to me and were able to resolved the problem. As I suspected there was a pretty big mysql db issue and dreamhost kept kicking it up to higher level analysts and then to an engineer who was finally able to solve the problem. It bothers me that it took 24 hours to fix the problem as I was a brand new customer and not expecting a problem, it also pisses me off that they didn't believe me when I first reported the problem, but eventually they did fix the problem and as of right now the site is running very smooth. It's already much faster than Gandi ever was so I hope it stays that way. We'll just have to see!