About comparison with other services, I was working in Deloitte Analytics before, managing the cloud services provided by IBM Softlayer. You cannot compare them, AWS offers many more and I was not really satisfied with SoftLayer, for example I had a problem with a network upgrade they did on January 2014 and I have lost a lot of data, with poor support to restore it. Also the starting price of 25$ per month is really expensive. AWS is far more mature and interesting.
Then for my own servers I use CloudAtCost cause is cheaper but if I run a business for sure I would go with AWS. If you gain money, is not that expensive and if you stick with Amazon advices and philosophy is very reliable.