It is interesting that this site is featuring a HostGator affiliate banner today...
The list of hosting companies now owned by EIG is quite long. I have looked around for hosting companies not on that list, but it's a rather long process to find a good hosting company. I had a recommendation for an outfit called web hosting buzz, but I found that they recently disabled sending email from a hosted PHP script -- meaning I can't even do a group email to the guest authors on one of my sites, which is a show-stopper.
One thing I have considered is doing a CPanel installation on my S3 account, as well as hosting my mailing list there. However, I'm not sure I want to devote *that* much of my life to maintaining my websites. Especially since if I have any technical issues there, I will be on my own. The problem that the HostGator tech fixed for me yesterday is one that I would never have found by myself.
For now, HostGator is satisfactory (actually more than just satisfactory), but I'm keeping my eye out for a another one in case I start experiencing the problems everyone is talking about in this thread.
I've had enough practice in just the last week (I did 4 migrations back and forth between two domains) that I can now do a complete host migration of any of my sites in about 10 minutes, so I could get all of my sites off of HostGator with a day's notice. (I keep regular backups.)