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I use 1ShoppingCart.com as my database. It's great because in addition to handling all of my email lists, it also manages all my sign up forms and my shopping cart as well.
It's probably more than any LCO would need, but there are numerous services available that make it pretty simple to safely do mass emails. The 2 that I typically recommend for LCO's are Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) and AWeber (www.aweber.com).
I have not had any trouble getting emails delivered, but I also know 1ShoppingCart has gone to great lengths to develop relationships with the large email providers such as AOL, MSN and the like.
I don't know about ConstantContact or AWeber specifically, but they're very well respected names within the email industry so I would assume the have done the same.
The nice thing about using one of these services is that they handle all of the technical aspects of getting your message delivered, plus they provide feedback as far as open rates, non-deliveries, etc. On top of that, if there are any problems with an email service provider, because it's coming through their servers you don't run the risk of getting shut down by your ISP.