You can now add me to the never-ending list of bloggers and commenters on the topic of "my once-trusty web host is failing me, who do you recommend?"
I've used HostMySite for years with multiple sites at multiple companies. They have always been outstanding. Never a problem, never unscheduled downtime, great support and communication. But last week, they upgraded to CF8, and in the process, seem to have fubar'd the server my site is on (the problem is not CF, it's a configuration issue). Since last week, my company's site has been completely down (as in server error 500) for at least 13 hours during business hours (that I have been counting, who knows what happens while I sleep). It's also been sluggish on several occasions. I'd like to stick it out with HMS because of their history of quality, and even as I search for alternatives, it seems no one can say enough about how great they are. It's just too bad that I'm not having the same experience with them anymore.
I've used CrystalTech, which I would rate "merely ok" - mostly because their control panel sucked (this was a few years ago - CF6.1 era - it's probably improved since then), and because their SQL Server was totally overloaded (it would take 30 minutes to load the list of databases on the server in to Enterprise Manager). I might consider going back, but considering HMS gets far better reviews, I have a hard time believing that CrystalTech would be a step up.
I've looked at CFDynamics but they are too limited in capabilities, and their bandwidth and storage limits are puny for the price (compared to HMS and CT).
Now I'm looking at Alentus, an Adobe-recommended host that also seems to get some good reviews. They do seem a little more expensive for the space. I'm not opposed to paying more than I do at HMS, although I don't feel our site is quite at a point where we need dedicated hosting. Mostly I just want to be sure that if I'm paying the higher prices, that the service level is better. Alentus does offer 99.999% uptime, compared to HostMySite's "99.9+" (as they list it on their site - what does + mean, anyway?!), and those last two 9's are looking mighty nice to me right now, since my current uptime (depending on how you calculate it) is around 99.98%. I'm not going to get into the whole BS-of-the-99.99%-claim... right now.
I'd give HMS another chance, except right now I'm looking like a big fat idiot to the other folks at my company who I sold on the switch to HMS when I started (because we were moving to CF)...and with my boss tossing out "99% uptime" bla bla bla's, I can't afford to tolerate a vendor that doesn't deliver.
Anyway, if anyone can recommend a fantabulous CF host or has experience with Alentus, I'd love to hear it.