I'll put down my experience of ecommerce hosting and what I've used and found online.
I mainly have used osCommerce ( http://www.oscommerce.com/ ) to set up ecommerce solutions for clients. It works great and is a pretty easy install. Customizing it in the older versions was a little tricky, but doable. You just need lots of time. I don't think you are looking to go this type of route yet, as you want to see if it takes off and this can be developed to be a more larger scale solution.
I haven't tried Hostgator's Site Builder so I can't comment. The other tool you might want to take a look at is Quick Shopping Cart ( http://www.domainsatretail.com/quickshoppingcart.html ). It accepts PayPal as a way to take payment. They have a number of templates you can use ( view some here - https://products.secureserver.net/products/quickshoppingcart/design.htm ) and here is a preview of an example site - http://www.best-widgets.com/category.sc. I installed it pretty quickly when I was checking it out. It also integrates with the Web Site Tonight component.
Definately read it over though and see which products will let you do what you want ie. take the forms of payment you need, etc.
As for hosts, you can check out http://www.affordablesharedhosting.com for some reviews of a few bigger companies.
Best of luck on whatever decision you do make and hope it succeeds!
We have a business that sells documents - simply 4-5 page forms. We have about 100 of these forms that we sell, and want to go online. Site will be small, only 5 pages or so.
Was looking at Homestead, but bad reviews turned me away. So now I'm looking at Hostgator since they have the templates and sitebuilder incorporated. Also appears they have store capability, so we can incorporate that into the site easily (I hope). We want to use an online site builder, since I believe one exists for us to get this site up, and of course down the line if successful go to a professional design company.
Any thoughts or suggestions?