I use yahoo and have built several from scratch...they also have templates. Had one domain with GoDaddy and didn't like how much they emailed.... (granted I know I could have changed the settings). I've been with yahoo for 7 or so years and never had a problem...www.hikingmedallion.com is my office one and of course www.neighland.com I've also done with it
I've built a bunch of websites, both for myself and for other people. I love GoDaddy's hosting services. Their customer service is great.
For a total newbie, try wordpress.com. They have great templates that are customizable and very easy to use.
As for the ease of building and maintaining a website, it all depends on what your website is. If it's a farm website, there is very little maintenance. Just the occasional picture update or blog post maybe. I've been building websites for about 6 years now, so feel free to PM me if you'd like some detailed questions answered!
I made one with GoDaddy and have been very pleased with them. Easy to use site building tool, cheap, and they have great tech support. (the one I put up is for a local riding club, www.russianriverriders.org)
I put off building a website for my rescue for quite some time because I was intimidated by the idea of building one. I used GoDaddy and their website builder. It is really easy, no need to learn any code, just type in what you want and insert some photos and you are done.
I personally use BlueHost and have done some websites for clients on there as well - very easy to use with great results. You can use Weebly to build a site hosted by BH. I like it a lot because once I do the design and set it up, clients who are non-techie are usually able to make their own updates with minimal help (which saves them money and frustration.) BH is very reasonable with good customer service - I usually recommend them when clients ask.
If nothing else, it's always good to comparison shop! :-)
I use Bluehost.com as well. From there I used Prophoto and Wordpress on my site. It took some time to figure it out at first but they all have great tutorials. It is really easy to maintain. The link is in my signature line. While I bought a template I was able to customize a lot of it on my own.
Go check out fatcow.com Good pricing, u limited pages and data. Unlimited emails. And you get a very nice person by the first or second ring who will stay on the phone as long as possible and talk you through pretty much anything. And I have never gone down with them except for 30 minute scheduled things in the wee hours in the am maybe 2xs in the past year. Easy drag and drop software