I've used HostGator for years (about 4 years now, to be exact), and have never had any major problems with them. Yeah, they've had occassional outtages, but have been online about 99.5% of the time, and been prompt with fixing any problems that come up.
They're fast, efficient, offer cPanel (and all of the stuff that comes with), and even SSH access. The prices are pretty good, and customer support is great. You can be up and running within an hour of purchase, and know that you're backed by a quality company.