When someone starts a wordpress blog with a paid hosting, the most important decision one has to make is to choose a webhosting partner for their hosting solution. When i started , i had to change two webhosts due to problems with site downtime and many other problems.
Finally, i have settled with Dreamhost as my webhost for two of my blogs and one forum. The customer support of dreamhost had been very supportive and helpful whenever i had some problems.
I wont say i didnt exerienced any downtime during the period but the dreamhost support was prompt enough to solve the issues pretty fast and my sites were back in max 30-45 mins. So i havent experienced much of downtime.
One of the things i like about Dreamhost is the transparency they have. They admit whenevr the problem is on their side without any hesitation and try to solve it fast. With other webhosts, they are not ready to admit their failures and try to avoid telling you about the exact problem.
On Dreamhost, you can check the status of service on http://www.dreamhoststatus.com. If they had any issues with any server they had all the details there. Otherwise just open a support ticket and they will answer it as fast as they can. In my case, maximum time they took once was about 1.5 hours but then i had marked the problem as a casual one not a critical one.
If you like to signup with Dreamhost, you can use the following code to get $65 OFF on shared hosting packages of 1 year or more and $35 OFF on shared hosting less than a year.
Code : OFF65