Mediatemple offer this buzzwordy “gridserver” hosting for 20$/month, and Dreamhost offer a great regular hosting service for 7$/month and up. I have an account at Dreamhost, and I am keeping it, it’s great, and they have a great control panel and good support. Cheap!
However, I moved poorbuthappy.com (my travel project) to Mediatemple a few days ago, and the difference in speed is incredible. Pingdom has some really nice tools to measure speed. Before the move (on Dreamhost), pages would load in 2 seconds (2000 milliseconds), 4 seconds and more. Sometimes up to 10 seconds.
After the move, the core html of the page loads consistently in about 400 to 600 ms. That’s professionally fast. That’s about how fast Flickr loads. That’s almost as fast as Google’s pages (they tend to be around the 300ms). I am very impressed.
Below are some screenshots from pingdom.