You can purchase a web domain from any domain registrar (or via Google itself) and use the Google Apps hosted services to get your own branded email or start a small website without paying any hosting fee.
A good news is that Google will soon integrate Google Docs & Spreadsheets with Google Apps. But the bad news is that Google Apps will not be free anymore for new users. According to a Business Week report
Soon, it's expected to add word-processing and spreadsheet services to the suite, which includes an online calendar, chat service, and Web page builder. In coming weeks, Google Apps will turn into a real business as Google begins charging corporations a subscription fee amounting to a few dollars per person per month.But there could be a small catch - if you subscribe to Google Apps now, Google will continue to provide you with the free version forever:
Organizations accepted by Google during the Google Apps for Your Domain beta period are eligible for free service for their approved beta users even beyond the end of the beta period, as described in the Terms of Service.The definition of the term "Organizations" is not so clear and may or may not refer to individuals who use the Google Apps service for managing their personal domains.
Another possibility is that Google may lauch two editions of Google Apps - a premium version and one that's free. The free version could be limited in terms of email storage space or number of users that can be associated with one domain.
Microsoft offers a Google Apps like service called Office Live that comes in packages ranging from free to $39.95 a month for a single business.