When it comes to choosing a shared hosting solution, I've always recommended people to use Hostgator. For the last 3 years I've been using the shared service with no problems whatsoever, and I also use the dedicated hosting which is really good.
As a result of having no problems with the Hostgator Shared Hosting, I grew to trust it perhaps a little more than I should have. That's not to say that it is a bad service, but I decided to host an important video there over the weekend, and when I mailed it out to my subscribers, hostgator decided to shut it down.
The reason I was given by their support staff was that it was using up too much CPU power.
Now I was very frustrated because I did not receive any phone warning, I blissfully slept through the night while 1000s of my subscribers tried to click the link to the video only for it to be broken.
It was also particularly frustrating when their support staff told me that they sent me an email as warning (like I check my email in the middle of the night).
You see at Hostgator Shared Hosting you get lots of bandwidth, but read the fine print, you don't get lots of CPU power with shared hosting, so if you are getting a flood of visitors to your website, then you have the potential to get shut down.
This isn't temporary, they refuse to put the content back online. It took me a lot (and by a lot I mean over 2 hours) of talking to them to get them to allow me to put up a redirect from the shared hosting to my dedicated server, thus fixing the link. In all the video was down for about 9 hours.
Until now, Hostgator Shared Hosting has been fantastic, it has had zero downtime and has always been a fast and reliable webhost for me. Their dedicated hosting is even better.
However as a warning to others, don't get too comfortable with any form of shared hosting. If your website grows significantly in terms of visitor numbers, then sooner or later you should strongly consider upgrading to dedicated hosting so that you won't run the risk of being shut down right when your website is at its all time best.