For every hosting company you will find people with serious complaints and those for whom service has been smooth sailing. So, not only does service vary from company to company, but from user to user. With any host it's going to be a gamble, so just make sure they have a decent refund policy in case you have to dump them.
In addition to hosting on Linux/Unix, make sure the plan includes PHP and MySQL. I ran across a dirt cheap web host recently that didn't include them.