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I agree with you that Pulse CMS offers an interesting way to go, without databases. Before moving all my sites to WP over the past two years, I had always felt reluctant to use databases: but testing WP had convinced me to go ahead. Although I do not use it at this point (I played a little bit with previous versions), I bought a Pulse CMS license, if only in order to support that interesting project. I do not rule out using it for a site some day, at least experimentally.
After some digging, The Windows hosting minimum is $3.52/mo if you choose the 3-year billing cycle. Whoever runs their QA needs a dressing down! The Linux at $3.09/mo is accurate, though, if you go for a 3-year billing cycle. The shortest cycle is 6 months, which will cost you the equivalent of $4.32/mo and $3.25/mo for Windows and Linux, respectively.