This whole thread reminds me of what has happened to a site that I used to run for a community organisation where I used to live.
The new "webmaster" moved the site to a different host and then just gave up. Fifteen months down the line, after complaints that the site was out of date he deleted the home page. I feel quite smug when I see the inner pages still turning up in the top three positions for key search arguments. The only way to take a page off line is to delete it.