<<I'm doing pretty much the same thing as you. I completely agree with the upfront fee, I got burned my first two times and realized it just wouldn't work.
What I recommend is getting a PayPal account and doing your own hosting. For $100 a year you can get a reseller account at www.wildwestdomains.com
(GoDaddy). That way you can be making profit on the hosting too.
Dont forget to register with the state too...
DBA's (sometimes called trade names) usually cost around 50 bucks
varies by state tho>>