well, the suggestions you've been given so far aren't going to be any better.
If you're prepared to pay for it, dedicated hosting can be really nice. My sites are at The Planet, and I've loved it there. They're not the cheapest dedicated host and not the most expensive either, but they give you all the "hands" time on your server you're likely to require, free of charge, and their "orbit" control panel is really nice.
Ticket response time is anywhere between 2 minutes and 2 hours, but no longer than that, and resolution has been under 4 hours every time, for me - which has included fixing issues with me locking myself out of my own server by accident, free of charge.
Your site probably doesn't need its own server, so if you can swing it, get a couple of friends together. You'll really feel the difference between 400 sites on the one box, and only 4 or 5 (or 20 friends, if their requirements are low, it'll help offset your server cost).