I don't care to buy the cow of maintaining my own mail server when I can get the milk of great things like gmail for free. But I can understand people who would. This is for the same reason that I no longer host my own web and FTP site from home over my broadband connection. It was very cool, but wasn't worth the little work that it took to maintain. Hosting is so cheap now that I can get others to host those things for me and pay little to nothing in return. I do have a "real" email account (several actually), but it is very strictly used for family communication and an elite group of friends. It never gets spam because no one has the address and I like it that way. I know that spam can be filtered, but I just prefer to keep it seperate, plus I can walk away from any web based account without caring if the wrong person or group gets the address. To each his own.