When choosing a web hosting company there are a whole lot of different factors that should go into your decision making process. One of biggest factors should be:
1) Phone support. Email support is nice, but email occasionally falls in between virtual cracks. Getting someone on phone when your site goes down can take a lot of mystery out of entire process. A lot of bigger web hosting companies offer toll free support and weekend hours to boot. Phone support is a great benefit for any web hosting client.
2)Another factor to use in deciding whether to use a particular web hosting company is their history. How long has this company been in business? Web hosting companies that have been in existence for less than a year might not be best choice. A hosting company with a proven track record and a ton of happy clients is certainly a good sign and might work well for you.
3)How about company's software? This varies widely between web hosting companies. I am rather fond of Cpanel merely because I am used to it, understand where buttons are and what features do. It's much easier to stick with something you know than switching to a new User Interface. Some web hosts offer Frontpage features and others don't. Another specific area you might want to research are statistics programs. What sort of web statistics software is included with your web hosting account? Is Awstats included? This is one area you definitely want to heavily research before signing up.