We have hosted our site on Liquidweb VPS for the past few years and have moved to Rackspace Cloudserver a week ago.
Much more room to grow now and the move away from Apache to nginx has made a noticeable speed improvement.
I host my own sites on my own servers located within Sov House, London, UK. All the major ISPs in the UK peer and provide transit to my physical site. I have ipv6 out of the "box" and my peering is top notch. Would never have it any other way....
Out of 515 English speaking forums in the top 50,000 sites on the internet; this is what hosts I have noticed the most.
International, I've seen a lot of OVH
Get a bunch of pals with the same goals and get some non-metered hosting on beefy hardware. If you run a pokemon site, then build relationships with the other pokemon forum leaders. Seems like the best outcome.