All good points, but every app is different. The following is not a rebuttal to anything anyone has mentioned, just my own POV. In the end I think it’s all luck of the draw.
I have very particular and peculiar requirements, and Dreamhost offers everything I need without much special effort. I’ve set up VPS servers on several other hosting sites (e.g. 1&1, WebHostingHub) since the flurry of downtimes here, and often only after paying for them did I discover their limitations (e.g no compiling and/or running of C programs, no multiple emails for crons, etc). I’m sure I could find one eventually, but what a pain.
I did look at the DH problem logs, and it seems that VPS’s are much more of a problem. However, it may be that they don’t post it if a single dedicated server has a problem, because there’s only one contact who cares. Maybe they do a better job of contacting the owner of a dedicated server; it’s not just the bad reliability, it’s the lack of communication.
It still seems viable to simply downgrade to a shared server. Like I mentioned, my shared server has been ultra-reliable for years. And unlike every other provider I’ve looked at, their shared server has the same features as VPS or dedicated.