Well for a cheapo, you can go here
Theres a special for $4.95 a month, and after that expires I think its 5.95. Barebones internet access and email. You can use Microsoft Outlook or one of the other calendar/address book/content managers, or check out the calendar/address book features that MSN, Yahoo and others offer for free or at a small monthly or annual charge. If you want something more substantial, buy an old used palmpilot for 20-30 bucks and sync that with outlook.
I've seen a lot of great reviews of this ISP and will be converting my girlfriend to it in a month when her old ISP contract expires. Only downside is that there is really very little support and you pay for it when you use it.
Other thing we've used in the past is the local ISP in town, usually a small storefront. Only problem with ours is he just went from $9.95 a month to $12.95. When I can get the same service for five bucks, I cant see much motivation to stay.
You can always get deals on MSN other larger 'standard' ISP's in the $10-12 range.
I cant really say that any ISP has been 'better' or done more, most of them rent their modem pool access from the same couple of companies, so thats the same...most of them use the same backbone access, so thats the same...your email and news servers, and proxies (if any) are the only thing unique.
A suggestion, and what I've done, is to make yourself a hotmail account and have that become your primary email. Either take the free one or pay them a tiny bit for one of their fancier options. Then you can change ISP's every week and it wouldnt matter.
Another option and a cool service is MAILSHELL at www.mailshell.com
. For free you can create a subdomain (say 'cut-throat') and you get a pair of free email addresses, firstname.lastname@example.org
and <anyname>@cut-throat.mailshell.com. The latter allows you to give a registration site or questionable site/person a bogus email address like "email@example.com" or "firstname.lastname@example.org". You can authorize and redirect any of these 'sub mail' boxes to either sit in your mailshell account, be forwarded to your real mailbox, or be sent to spam hell.
Its free to use for basic web access, for a little money a month you can get a lot of extra features. I've used the free service for about a year and been pleased with it.