I can't say I really, truly need it just yet, but I'm thinking of getting a virtual private server (aka VPS).
While shared hosting is doing the job for me right now, the ability to know exactly what kind of resources I can rely on and set up services exactly the way I want is compelling.
I would consider a BSD-based VPS provider, but right now I'm looking at Linode, which allows users to run a number of different Linux distributions.
On the other hand, a good shared-hosting provider (like Hostgator, which I use) does tend to take care of you in terms of maintaining things. You don't get to chose what version you want of many things (though you can jump from PHP 5.2 to 5.3, as I did to tap the Calendar app in OwnCloud).
And for good or ill, Hostgator has been very forgiving, technically, in allowing me to run Perl scripts, create MySQL databases, etc., with less fail than other servers and sites. And though it may be boring, the CentOS Linux distribution upon which Hostgator builds its servers is extremely reliable.