I learnt early on that you get what you pay for, and web hosting is no different than any other good or service. There was a time when $3 – $6 a month got you a pretty good deal as the explosion in hosting services was happening, but as with all services that are shared, the only way the economics work out is to over subscribe.
The same happens with internet service (if everybody downloads at full speed at the same time, the “promised” throughput will fail miserably) and with hosting.
Usually, you either suck it up and deal with glacial response from massively shared mysql servers, or someone destroying the IOPS on the SAN, or you move to a provider that isn’t a dirtbag, and you pay more for that service.
Of course, if you have done that, and you get long downtimes and poor support, well, you moved once.
Last week and a half were trouble for my web properties. The hosting I used, a VPS on A Small Orange was part of a lengthy and poorly handled downtime. Staring around X-mas eve, and continuing through to the 3rd of January, their VPS services were hosed. Hosed bad. Like can’t ping, no network route, and the brief flashes where I could ping, the storage was offline, so that my websites were down.