Same idea, em-synchrony under the hood.
- Deployment (git push)
- Database maintenance
- Database Backups
- Lots and lots of addons that are simple to install and provide consolidated billing.
- No server-maintenance at all.
Especially the last point is something that gets underestimated a lot IMHO. Having a linode VPS implies that you have to take care of that box, which is a major pain if you're not an ops guy. It's simple for people that do ops, but sooner or later I always find myself tangled up in some special sort of (Linux/BSD/...) problem that takes me hours to solve, hours I could spend much more efficiently in building a new feature. Having a single VPS won't cut it if you're trying to have a load-balanced setup that scales out when needed. You need at least two. And maybe a database. And then, the moment your app takes off, you'll need to provision servers faster than you can manually, so you need scripting. Go learn puppet. More time gone.
So while it is expensive, there's a lot of teams that benefit tremendously from using an expensive service that solves that whole sort of problems. And it's not that expensive either. If your app is somewhat conservative in what it does, you probably can get 5-10req/sec on a single worker.
This may make my life a LOT easier. I've been running into the exact issues you are helping fix here. Thanks for posting :)
Disclaimer: I use Ruby and have no experience with Node.js.
(edit: improved text)