phpwebhosting.com is a great choice for a Linux shell host. After you sign-up, put in a request for ssh and it will be enabled quickly (all new accounts need to be verified). All common unix shell tools are pre-installed and, best of all, the admins will install more for you on request. You also have compiler access so are free to do any custom installs into your account space.
Your account is a normal unix shell – no restricted shells here. subversion and git are both available for revision control. Background processes are allowed as long as they do not cause a problem for other users. Crontab is also available.