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Sure there are other options but I'd rather not have accounts all over the place, and I like Linode.

Linode's problem with $10 accounts is not with customers like you who are paying them decent money otherwise - it's with customers who would sign up for $10, break things and expect $50 a month worth of support on an ongoing basis.

Most customers looking for a cheap VPS (to learn on, to experiment etc) are not going to be profitable unless you provide virtually no support, so by slicing off that part of the market they can offer a uniform level of service without compromising their profitability.

Heroku is able to provide as many free low use dynos as you want and that's a managed system with presumably more support cost.

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