In reply to Bad experience :(
DosDawg, I can think of a number of CMS and other web app providers who provide free hosting for controlled basic versions of their software. phpBB and many other popular community web applications offer such services. Heck, I'm a software developer myself and I throw in free hosting every so often for customers, and sometimes bundle it with licenses. Just design a setup that's planned for low maintenance yourself/the company. Shared hosting with limited/controlled media uploading are economical see more enough to provide for added value.

Regarding checking scripts, I once made a quick derivative of the D7 (some beta IIRC) installer into a stand-alone script checking the basic extensions and PHP configuration that are checked by the installer. It doesn't cover everything obviously, but it's a start and it's easy enough to add to it.

You can download the zip here:
Below is the legacy version of the Boonex site, maintained for Dolphin.Pro 7.x support.
The new Dolphin solution is powered by UNA Community Management System.