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Today's broadband speeds for home users are genrally fast enough for the average "Home Page" users to host their own sites. I have a slightly faster upload than average because I host a few more that just web services. You might not get template designs, but it sure it one of the cheaper ways to go.
IMHO, .Mac is worth it to those who want some easy services without much granularity or personal configuration. It is far too pricey for the space. It is a SCAM that you cannot use Apple's backup app on your home network. They say you can, but it is a lie. They expect that you will be logging into .Mac with Macs only. So editing a calendar date from anything other than a Mac is impossible. Nearly every service they offer is easily duplicated with the out of the box Panther installation you have on you computer.
Yes, I have a few issues with .Mac, however, it is a pretty cool and well done product overall. The issues I have are personal and don't come close to applying to the general Mac user populace. My suggestion to you, is try out the fre three month trial and see if you like it. If you don't, don't buy it. Simple.
actually i had some problems initially.. my computer is always in os9.2 .. i'm not ready to pay for osX upgrades and the headaches and crashes that will likely ensue.. you can't use iDisk from os9.. i don't know, but i think i'm going to go with this company that charges $4.00/ month for much more.. but i'll have to design it myself.. i just need to get started on it