Nice to see this forum alive again.
For deployment, I usually set up my own linux server (mostly Debian), hosted in IaaS providers (DigitalOcean, AWS, Gandi.net, CloudSigma, etc.).
At the beginning I started from scratch over ssh, it's not that complicated at the end, but there is many things to learn and you will have some headaches. The good thing is that it gives you a lot of control, and you can install any service you want (cron job, background tasks, websocket server, etc.). But the road is very long before having a highly secured and highly available platform, I'm not there yet.
After doing some set up from scratch, I looked at server provisioning solutions like Chef or Puppet, but they have a quite long learning curve and I wasn't very comfortable with them. I finally found a much simpler solution (but more limited) by using capistrano to write my own provisioning recipes, and it works quite well. The idea comes from Ryan Bates : http://railscasts.co...istrano-recipes
Finally, I discovered recently flynn.io, an Heroku-inspired opensource project, it looks awesome and I'm looking forward to see it. They plan to have a first version in 6 months.