We decided to rename to ARES half a moon ago, because we are not in NY anymore and also i more like ARES, God of War, than just NY. I doubt you are losing players because of this, it is too new server and we are not having much players on it at all. After rename, 'NY' was left in there to let people know it is one of the old 'NY' servers... I don't like NY anymore, and i was thinking about different name for DOM as well. But just to be clear, we had 'NY' in the name since a year ago, JUN 2009 i think. I believe many trackers registered us since then, if you want a proof.
For specs, 32+ players COD4 needs Core2Duo at least, but you could run 32/32 or less on Atom servers, which you can get for cheap. VPS i don't recommend unless it's very honest and non-overselling provider, or if they use Xen-based VPS where you have equal share of resources all the time, so if someone is using 100% CPU he is using only his share. Not all providers allow games on VPS, Q3 usually is not a problem (low CPU, low BW), but for COD4 i think Xen is the only real solution.
So far COD4 has still enough players for a full server anywhere. Of course with PB enabled you will have a bit less players, or if you over-admin all the time. We had 2 servers in UK and were able to fill all 4 servers to the max, it is still a large player base, so i am sure you will get more people. Perhaps you could use some unique name as well.