Where can you recommend that provides the best drupal hosting in the United States? (preferably not near washington DC)
Drupal really doesn't have a whole lot of requirements to host -- you can typically do it on any host that supports MySQL/PHP. The thing I would recommend is looking for a provider who keeps their servers lightly loaded, as Drupal can be a bit resource heavy. If you're looking for shared hosting, you might want to look into www.medialayer.com. Alternatively, Site5.com is always a good bet.
Well, maybe not "lot of", but Drupal definitely does have some important requirements to hosting servers. Here is how Drupion's servers are configured to meet Drupal's requirements: http://drupion.com/resources/general-information/server-settings
I do recommend MDD Hosting. At least their shared hosting. I'm not an expert, far from this, I'm just and average user who tried several of the most famous hosting services in the States before, and I've been with MDD for some two years now, and the performance of my drupal site improved a lot. It was never so speedy and smooth with the other hosts. Maybe because MDD uses LiteSpeed, or just their servers are speedy or less crowded...
Their support seems to be very good too, though I only needed it once or twice. And you can pay monthly - I don't like to have to pay a year or two in advance.
This is my affiliate link, but I would honestly recommend them anyway: link removed
________edited by silverwing: affiliate link removed per hosting forum guidelines
Drupal is a registered trademark of Dries Buytaert.