As a technical person in the office, and as a person who maintains (not own) more than 20 blogs my friends at work will usually ask me advice on their hosting requirements. The most important concern they have is usually the cost, and speed is usually second.
I often ask them to use a portion of my huge hosting for free, but I warn them that my hosting service is located in the US so access from Malaysia will be quite slow. Some of them don’t care as long as it is free and happily use the FTP account and a single database I throw at them.
Some of them do care about speed and they choose Malaysian hosting companies.
The shy ones usually will refuse my offer and ask me which hosting company is the cheapest. Honestly, from the top of my head I don’t have hosting companies ordered by price. I order them by customer support excellence. I am willing to pay good money for good service.
Good luck. May the host be with you 😉