Dear macmanx, schweb and everinjoy (love your nick!),
Thank you for sharing! I found your information very valuable. I would really, truly want to sign up with DreamHost because of all the great features (three hoorays for shell access!) and their reputation as a reliable host.
This db issue has me very worried, however. My site is educational and pertains to some important political and religious matters. I'd really people to enjoy spending time at the site and read as much as possible. These days, people may get anxious if a site takes a long time to load.
Maybe I should look for something more expensive...