I had been testing for a couple of weeks and the winner seems to be ASmallOrange.com.
I used some ping services as well as anecdotal evidence from colleagues around the world. Orange performed consistently better.
Orange is half the price of MediaTemple. It’s not THAT much money, but it’s enough to make a difference. The room for growth is good, although I don’t think I need it for a little while.
MediaTemple has been frustrating me for years now. The performance problem kept showing up and they just shifted blame to other companies. Whether this was true or false, I don’t know. However, when I tried to go to their homepage, I never, ever, ever had any trouble. I was sick of it their lack of support. SmallOrange’s support was very responsive and helpful. I havent had a MAJOR problem yet, so we shall see if I don’t get screwed, but so far they have been excellent.
MediaTemple uses a custom user interface, that I admit that I liked. SmallOrange uses the more common cPanel. cPanel is fine, nothing special, but it gets the job done. This is the only one that I gave to MediaTemple as the winner.
User Experience is about every single touch point and how I interpret the collection of interactions. It was a pain in the ass to move (and will continue as I move other assets) but I need my peace of mind. I don’t move often, but this seems like the right decision to me.