I remember the best thing was when I discovered a dialup ISP called FlashNet in Fort Worth, TX - the freedom from AOL was wonderful, nothing special, just a barebones dial up connection and some free hosting space without jumping through the AOL hoops.
Remember the days when your personal hosting space was something like www.flash.net/~username
This was their earliest archive page: FlashNet Communications
Too bad they weren't indexing user pages too - would be fun to again see what I had online in 1996.
FlashNet eventually went public and were then quickly bought out by Prodigy in 1999, but I had moved to Canada by that time anyways...