So I took the plunge and snagged a FreeBSD "colocation" account with JohnCompanies, to address my desire for more experimental freedom on a server hosted Somewhere Out There. I may eventually hook up with a few fellow hackers to spread the monthly rent, and I may even consider floating some trial balloon for-pay services - assuming I hack together something I'm presumptious enough to think is worth money. :) But for now, the cost is very affordable for what I get.
So, I haven't dumped my current webhost yet, but I'm slowly going about installing services and software up there, including but not limited to: Apache, mod_perl, PHP4, Tomcat, Jabber, INNd, IRCd and whatever else seems like a good idea (whether or not it actually is a good idea). I might even throw a LiveJournal installation up there.
And, once I come to my senses, I may pare this list down and disable things until I get around to actually doing real things with them. More soon, I hope.shortname=ooobfc