Problem

I want the best blog, simple to maintain, easy to setup, and a joy to use.

Solution TL;DR

Reasoning

Platform = Ghost
I am a huge ghost 👻 fan. And for personal, single author (even multi author) blogs its an ideal platform. It's simpler than wordpress, cleaner, and there is an awesome team behind the product.

What it doesn't have: If you are looking to add a million and one plugins, there is no true support for that, yet... But if all you want is a blog, a pure simple blog there is no better option.

Hosting = Digital Oceans
There are plenty of options in the VPS space, and the only reason I have choosen this is due to their simplicity, upfront pricing and 1-click install of ghost. Other options: Heroku, AWS, Google Cloud, Redhat Openshift, etc.

Domain = 1&1.com
not special, get it from anywhere. Just picked above as its an affiliate link and its cheap and half decent.

CDN = cloudflare
Apart from some minor hiccups cloudflare has always been good and reliable. Their free options is really decent, and gives you free SSL.

Setup

Digital Oceans
1. Head over to digital oceans and signup for an account. You will get a $10 free credit for using that link. (2 free months). You will need to enter some billing details.
2. Goto the new droplet page
3. Click: Choose and image -> Ghost 0.11.9 on 16.04
(as of 29/7/17 0.11.9 is the latest Ghost image on Digital Oceans, but this will be upgraded to 1.0 shortly)
4. Choose $5 month droplet.
5. Choose closest Datacenter to your users (or yourself)
6. Add ssh keys (optional)
7. Click Create

You can now go to the supplied url/ip address and setup your Ghost Installation.

Pick a theme
1. Goto theme
2. Pick and download a theme
(I bias'ly recommend Oscar for Ghost, the theme on this blog)
3. Install under settings in Ghost Admin menu: /ghost

Buy and setup custom domain
https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-set-up-a-host-name-with-digitalocean

Setup Cloudflare with your blog
https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-mitigate-ddos-attacks-against-your-website-with-cloudflare

Caveats

This makes that assumptions that you agree/believe that Ghost is the best blog. And with that fact want it on the cheapest most reliable hosting.

Good luck!