Interesting conversation. I guess reseller hosting accounts really do vary alot. I host many of my clients web sites, and when I set them up, I give them access to the ticket management system my reseller set up. They "usually" do call me, but they have a method to call / email the hosting provider directly as well. Plus, I usually give a heads up to all clients if I'm going to be ooo for more than a day or two and remind them that if they have problems while I'm gone to contact hosting company x directly.
I'm actually a little suprised all hosting companies don't do this