Dreamhost VPS vs cloud offerings?

I’m a long-time DH customer on a shared host, and mostly happy with the services. We’re kicking off a new business that requires more reliability and resources.

I’ve started testing a Rackspace cloud server. No matter what they say about per-minute charges, pay only for what you use, etc, the truth is that you’re charged for every minute that you have anything on their servers, so you’re looking at a minimum of about $60/month for a low-end server.

Prior to that I was looking at Amazon EC2, which on one hand looks good at about the same price, if you read Rackspace competitive web pages it seems in the long run Amazon will cost a Lot more.

So now with due diligence I’m thinking about DH VPS again.

Can anyone compare VPS with these offerings in terms of real features?

It sure looks like all of these offerings are the same except for costs, most of which are hidden until you find yourself consuming resources. The term “cloud” is just a branding - I don’t see a difference between VPS (not advertised as cloud) and “cloud” offerings.

Having been away from this forum for a couple months I come back and see some visible angst expressed about VPS. Ooooh, that’s not good news. Can DH or anyone else realistically comment as to the percentage of issues compared to the number of users? For example, forums might typically have 1 issue reported by an angry user for every 100 (or 1000?) happy users. But if the ratio here is more like 1 for every 5, there’s a real problem here.

Thanks for your considered thoughts.