my first attempt with blogging started with a traditional web hosting provider and wordpress as installed by fantastico. since then i have explored blogger and blogspot, as well as tripod and read some about moveable type. so far my favorite is blogger. it is free, ad free, and the composition editor is very easy to use. i find my own blog software difficult to maintain, and moveable type isntallation resources are difficult to find (for a wonderful example of what mt can do see http://www.vagabonding.com). i also appreciate the blogger integration with flickr and picassa (however yahoo's recent aquisition of flickr casts future blogger integration in doubt).
a long term concern will be backing up and potentially migrating this data away from blogspot. an example condition under which this would be necessary would be if they began to charge a large fee for the service, or began serving unwanted ads. in that case the web host provider would be a better alternative. until then, blogger is the best solution i've seen.
i will keep my site hosted with blogomania for a while at $10/month. i'm sure that over time the amount of features will go up and the prices will come down for virtually all online resources.