$ sudo pacman -Syu has never been so fast ;-)
Linode recently announced a revamp of their infrastructure providing, among other things, SSD storage and double RAM. I am on their lowest priced plan, which means 2GB memory and 48 GB storage on 2 cores on a Intel Xeon E5-2680 v2 @ 2.80GHz sets me back just $20/month.
While going down to two cores from the previous upgrade to eight may not sound impressive, my early impressions are that there is indeed much less contention as Linode claims. Besides, the extra 1 GB of memory is very likely much more crucial to my modest needs than the spare cores none of which got fully utilized.
I had to switch to a 64-bit kernel for the migration, but I left everything else in 32-bit, mostly because I am impatient like that. They ask you to allow about 36 minutes for the process, but, in my case the whole thing from clicking migrate to full reboot was about 10 minutes and 32 seconds.
DigitalOcean offers some incredibly helpful, developer centric options.
If you are looking for a VPS solution where you are in complete control, you could a lot worse than these favorites.