It's funny how little I can recall from so long ago. The very first host I used was a free one, could have been named 100free or 50megs or something like that. The site was run by 2 fellows and they were using IM for support. Being new to the *nix world, they gave me an advice I stuck to: name your files using low caps, or you may find it hard to recall their exact URL. After a while they stopped responding to my messages - I was a newbie that needed too much hand holding I suppose.
All in all, it was a good learning experience for me. I built my first (ugly) web page then, using Netscape Composer, if memory serves me right.
The one host I remember fondly came from one of those post-for-host sites.
I've never used one of those, but such hosts were reasonably popular for a while, I do recall that. I still think that customer-to-customer support is not an entirely bad idea, and thus, forum based support.