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Can you make a recommendation? I want something in the middle of a cheap hosting like Dreamhost and Google/Yahoo/Rackspace.

It was difficult to find it. Dreamhost was great because I can create a lot of e-mail accounts for my company but in the last year there were a lot of outage that complicated my business. On the other spectrum Google/Yahoo/Rackspace could be great but they are expensive when there is a linear relationship between e-mail accounts and price, and we create new e-mail accounts all the time not only for employees but for testing specific pieces of software.

Honestly, I use Google Apps for Domains myself, behind a domain I own (so I can leave down the road if I want.) I don't think folks moving off Gmail to leave Google want to do that but it's worked well for me. It's been long enough that I can't remember what I used before that for my email.

Same here. I'm more concerned with reducing data lock-in.

Leaving Gmail might be uncomfortable, but as long as I can backup my e-mail via IMAP and can move my address at a moments notice, it'd just be a nuisance.

I don't see the point in avoiding Google for the sake of it. But I do see the point in making sure the the effort involved in switching a dependency away from them is reasonably contained.

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