Hi, I'm new to IM and have bought a couple of domains off 1and1 and after reading this post I thought of this.
Why not go with 1and1 for the first year since they charge .99 cents (for the first year only - it jumps up to $14.99 after) and they give you the option to have a private registration for free? After the first year you would transfer the service to namesilo which is the cheapest for the second year on and they provide the private registration for free as well. I might be being mega cheap just to save about $7 per domain for the first year (namesilo is $8.99) but when you're buying many domains (many niches sites) it can save you a good amount of money throughout the year.
No suggestions on hosting since again I'm new to IM. One quick comment though, I do own an e-cig company that I have hosted on hostgator for the past 2 years and it is very slow (probably not enough for an e-commerce site)... switching to shopify soon anyway.
Wow they don't have a single positive review. Don't think I'll be using them from here on out as it seems any little problem people have run into becomes a huge problem or just takes forever to be resolved. Thank you for the info.