No need to apologize for not posting back ... you've been busy!
Shame you had to resort to that sort of troubleshooting, but what you've shared might be a tip for others on hosting that have cPanel. Good to hear you've resolved the problem and site is up. ;)
** do make site backups and download those backups ** ... as well as full course backups.
Uhhh ... not sure there are any 'good' and '... not nasty' hosting providers for anything ... they are all 'evil' in one way or another.
However, you might find one amoung:
You might consider making that query ... 'in the market for' ... in another posting of these forums ...
'spirit of sharing', Ken