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There are many remembrances of 1st Provider - sweet/sour Or good/bitter experiences :D
My First Provider was C I Host @Dallas/Fort Worth - Reseller Hosting Account (Affiliate model, they didn't have bulk Reseller model that time) and that was around - wait.. long time already - let me check the archive of email used that time (now defunct :P )
Had very good experiences for 6months-1year, then moved to cPanel reseller account with another good provider found at WHT - better savings and better panel to clients.. :) Later quickly jumped to own cPanel Dedicated :P
Edit: i wanted to discuss Non-free providers.. as i also started with Tripod.. geocities.. ourfamily etc. :P