Ok, so I got a Gmail account. It was cool, I like the interface and it seems that it's got quite a good featureset. Searching through mail was easy and fast. Quite a lot better than my old standard of mbox filing and grepmail. And the conversation threading was very cool. But there is a problem with Gmail. Something that I can't get around. With Gmail (or any other "free" mail service) I'm totally at the mercy of Google. Here's what I mean.
I went to log into my Gmail account on Friday and I strangely get the error message "Sorry, your account has been disabled. If this should not have happened, please contact our user support team at email@example.com." This is wierd because it detected my valid login and told me to get lost. Now it's not only wierd, it sucks butt. I spent a few days e-mailing back and forth with Google and they eventually tell me that my origonal invite was not valid so they just up and closed the account. So I've lost firstname.lastname@example.org. Mike (whom I invited to Gmail off of my invalid invitation) has sent me a new invitation so I've got my backup, elfbahamat (it hacks me off that I have to keep doing that though).
But really this brings me back to my origonal point. The problem with Gmail is that I'm completely at the mercy of Google. If I use Gmail for 10 years, come to depend on it, save hundreds of thousands of messages, and then one day they up and cancel it (for whatever reason), I'm just flat out of luck. Good bye mail.
Suddenly Gmail's 1G of storage isn't looking so great. Especially not when I've got 33G free on my laptop and twice that on my desktop. And Gmail's search features were nifty, yes. But with Mail I can type in a keyword or two and pull up a list of coresponding messages in realtime (i.e., as soon as I type a letter the search results are updated). And when Spotlight is available it's going to be even better. Yea, Gmail is ok for a web based mail client I guess. But I'm the administrator of my own domain. I control digitalelf.net. I control my mail. And that's the way I like it.