any chance of having some sort of "Best Host" list?
You can find this over at the joomla forum.
Personally, I think that list is not very good, except for one or two.
Steve, first choose the country where you want the servers located, then do some googling or get a recommendation from someone you know (and trust) that knows Joomla. There are a lot of good and a lot of bad hosting companies around. With the big companies, make sure they have a forum with lots of positive replies from the customers (be wary of empty or 100% private forums), or some other way of knowing how there current customers feel. Also, search 'joomla' in their forum or on their site. For small companies, look for a good track record or find out who they resell for. There are some good Joomla resellers out there who are usually also web developers / designers and work with good hosting companies, but normally its good only to use resellers you actually know.
Most importantly, if it is cheap and with lots of space it will not
be good. Good servers, quality diskspace and bandwidth, and welll maintained costs money.
Avoid any host that offers accounts with 'unlimited' disk space and / or bandwidth. They will be overselling and will likely have overloaded servers. Finally, take no
notice of awards. Most hosting awards are 'sponsored'.