So, do you have options instead of WordPress.com? Yes. You can get self-hosted WordPress. What this is is sitting the software that’s behind wordpress on a hosting package that you pay for. It’s hugely more flexible and totally under your control. And if you go with a specialist host like tsohost (affiliate link), they will support you every step of the way.
I’ve written about this sort of stuff before and probably more coherently, explaining the difference between wordpress dotcom and wordpress self-hosted, but if you’ve any specific questions I can help me with just stick a comment in and I’ll try to sort you out.
Lots of ppl are worried about backups, and followers. If you’re using feedburner to manage your RSS feeds you can port it with you (and if you’re not, why not?) and it also seems you can carry your google friend connect with you as well. If you host with someone like tsohost, backups are automated and part of the base service – it’s a really good reason to go with them.
If you want a more personal service and you’re willing to pay a bit more, I can also recommend the lovely gentleman Tim at Colneis. (Disclosure – he’s in the attic 😉 )
Background – I’ve been blogging for nearly 8 years. I’ve used blogspot, wordpress (dot com as well as self hosted) and once upon a child ago, I was a programmer.