Mark, I am very sorry that you had a difficult experience. Let me make some notes to your comments since I think it is not just to make those comments generalized for every VPS:
1. There are managed and unmanaged VPS servers. The managed one are usually a bit more expensive but the hosting company will give you support and resolves issues with the system for you (but not for the script you install of course).
2. I do not know what Bluehost offers but there are tremendous differnecies between hosting companies. Personally I do not like them very much and their VPS offer seemed to be rather expensive.
3. The SSH is oftenly scaring people but in the end it is a quite easy thing to handle if you have a talent for technology. Most times you can just google what you need alongside with your Host OS and you will find solutions fast. Same goes for error messages which may appear. Just google them with your OS.
Nevertheless I realize that you have to have a certain Talent for Computers and their Logic. Want to say: it is not for everyone to dig in SSH, but you can always go for a managed with a good hosting company.