Support is never an issue when things go well. Support suddenly becomes critical once you face trouble. Sadly, many of the cheap providers lack in terms of support (at least from customer reports that I've read). At times, a reason may be the setup many of them use. When a cluster is in trouble, thousands of customers may be asking for support in a very short period of time. When a server is in trouble, it's "only" a couple of hundred that are affected. Still, a more manageable number.
I prefer to pay monthly, or at most quarterly.
This may put many of the cheaper hosts out of your list, since many have a policy of actively encouraging paying yearly (though the clever use of setup fees and discounts).
So, since your actual hosting needs are reduced, I recommend you focus on the quality of support, as evidenced by reviews (old and recent) posted on forums like sitepointforums.com and webhostingtalk.com.