When I went down the second time, I got a few offers from different people. Most were of the "hey dude, I got a 56K line to WinNT on my 486" variety. One was, well, it wasn't a solid offer, but marked interest from the founder of digex.net, would you believe. Sounded really great, but this all happened around the time of Digex's shareholder meeting, and it was impossible to get him and me on the phone at the same time. The hockey.net guys swung stuff into motion before I could get something solid from Digex, so I went with them. Which is a pity, because I would have enjoyed working with them.
However, I did get this one from someone else:
Dear sir, I just happened to be looking up old favorites when I found that the Dysfunctional Family Circus was (aghast!) no longer available! Getting to the root of the matter I found your "disgruntled" message. I happen to be a part of a start up web hosting service that would meet all your requirements and then some. Lots of space, tons o' bandwidth, excellant pricing, email addy freedom, and plenty of CGI bells and whistles. If your interested please respond to this note or just check out our website and go from there. You'll have to forgive us, when I say start up, I mean it. However, we're very serious web people with designs of our own, and would love to have you on board. Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.
Okay, I think, but, uh..."excellent pricing"? I wrote back saying, "Excellent pricing? I can't afford the hosting, I said, and besides, I'm offering you one buttload of advertising. This was the response:
I can appreciate your need for free space, and while free is good, free space -and- the amount of bandwidth you require is an aweful lot to ask for from the Internet Gods. Its one thing to ask for two meg from GeoCities for a home page, its another to ask for 40 meg for a potenial profit making enterprise. Your proposal of advertising for web space is a compelling one, considering your track record, however, we would need more than a "This space provided by" hyperlink. A banner ad, or half banner ad, placed at the bottom of the page, would be better. Mind you, any banner ad would be properly designed to get our message across, but not interfere with yours. Other than this, we can offer you the ridiculously low price of $0.50 a meg, without the need for any advert swap. We would need a one time $50 set up fee to transfere the domain name. From then on you could expand or contract and only need to pay the $0.50 a meg monthly rent. The hits would be unmetered, unlimited email, unlimited access, and total CGI. There is also the time issue. I'm sorry to say that our server would not be able to accept any transferes until well into the first week of June. This is unfortunate and I was not aware of this when I contacted you.
Uh. Okay, I was so freaked about waiting, that the first week of June would have killed it for me, but I didn't even read that far before I decided to ignore him. Now look, I know this is ego talking, but at this point these people need me much more than I need them. Here's a start up web design group that could really use national advertising (and he was right, they were really start up--their domain was registered a month after mine, even), and we're haggling on price. Screw 'em. I don't recall exactly, but I think the price he gave me was good for the web hosting market at the time...but due to the total shagging I was getting from ThoughtPort, I couldn't even afford that.
Besides, pay shmay. When the founder of digex.net is willing to host you for free...