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Stability, speed, a unix flavor. I don't really use support that much.
A "something's broken, come and fix it"-button is all I actually need from support.
A basic package consisting of some webspace (not a gazillion megabytes, just 50 or so would do at first) which can be upgraded at an acceptable rate. PHP support and mySQL is a must, perl, some pops, mailing list.
Bandwidth should be affordable, like 4-5$/gig max.
That's about what I look for in a host. I don't need all the bells and whistles since I don't use half of it.
A control panel is a plus.
Honestly, I think the biggest thing I look for in a host is a support team that want to see you succeed. Most hosts will offer a lot and have good prices, but support when something goes down is critical, and if a host doesn't have that, then its not even worth my attention.
The second thing I look for is profesionalism. I want people to at least look like they know what they are doing. I want to business with a corporation, not some individual trying to make money...basically I want some assurance that their company is stable and will be there for me...
I go along with support. Also, they all go down but I get bent out of shape when it is for a long period of time (hour or more). I guess that goes back to support... having someone on hand that knows what they are doing.
A lot of space.. extra ftp account so I can host my other small sites and domain names.. nothing over $30 a month.. and I don't mind if I only get 3gb bandwidth as long the bandwidth does not cost too much.