I'm new here (started checking out DreamHost about 10 days ago, paid up Saturday, "approved" Monday or Tuesday) and so far I'm very pleased.
I was initially a bit concerned about the delays. Several years ago, new hosts had me set up in hours (using IP address temporarily until DNS propagated). More recently it was minutes or even seconds. My last 2 or 3 hosts used cPanel, and changes made through the panel typically were activated immediately or within minutes. As well as 2-3 days to activated the server (or to give me control of it), I'm regularly finding delays of a couple of hours e.g. adding domains, subdomains, emails, and just now when I realised that SSH has to be activated manually, the panel told me it might take up to 2 hours.
So if you're addicted to instantaneous response, then you may be disappointed.
However, during the waiting periods, I not only had plenty of other things to get on with but also time to reflect on what might be happening.
It's obvious that DreamHost is highly automated. (Cheap hosting has to be! I signed up on the My Code Monster SALE! - how much techie time can they afford to pay, for a customer paying $16/month, let alone a level 1 customer on $8/month?) So all my actions - signing up and, later, managing and customising via the panel - must have produced almost instantaneous results.
So I figure the delays must involve human intervention: automated actions place tasks on a human being's task queue.
I used to like cPanel when it was new, but over time I found it had numerous defects, and my hosts consistently operated on the assumption that - until a user files a support ticket - everything works as intended all the time.
A few routine checks prior to activating changes could prevent a lot of time wasted by users and techies, so if that is the explanation for the delays, I'm happy.
Apart from the delay issue, I've found everything superb, with better functionality and resources than I've had previously.