I've been running a lot of benchmarks against different VPS providers. It's become a bit of obsession. DO are obviously the go-to option but other providers do offer some very interesting differentiators, be it price, features or performance.
The selection I tested is based on having European data centres, ideally UK/London. However, most of the below also have worldwide coverage.
Here's are some interesting options I've tested recently (more details available on request...):
Very impressive performance even on their cheapest servers, great choice of instance sizes. Bit of a marketing bait and switch with their $2.50 plan; they performed amazingly well but they after a few weeks they mysteriously "sold out". Presumably after loads of people registered and added credit with a view of spending on those cheap servers, they simply pulled the plug.
Fairly good performance, no cost if a server is destroyed within 14 days (we use a lot of short lived instances). Very cost effective backup storage boxes. Starting a new instance can take a little bit though (maybe 20 mins). Only German data centres.
Somewhat surprisingly the best performance we’ve tested so far. Also great storage sizes for the price.
Minimum plan is $10, so not ideal for staging but their support is extremely proactive and helpful. I reached out with a fairly simple question (they have some firewall restrictions on their trial) and they credited $100 to my account to use as I wished so I could test properly. For me, that speaks volumes i.e. they believe in their platform.
Literally the worse control panel I've ever used. BUT... they have $1 instances (1 core, 1GB RAM, 20GB SSD, 2TB/month transfer) available in Italy or the Czech Republic. Impressively, they also use Intel Xeon E5-2650L v4s and the servers perfrom pretty amazingly. Perfect for staging servers