Google has finally released Gmail to the masses. I tried Gmail a few years ago from an invitation from a friend, but I quickly gave it up due to privacy concerns and spam. The fact is you can get free e-mail access anywhere, but getting one that is reliable and spam free is quite a tall order. Many companies and forums flat out refuse to accept hotmail.com, yahoo.com and gmail.com e-mail accounts for account registration as these providers have a bad reputation. Who will take you seriously if you have firstname.lastname@example.org as an e-mail address on your resume?
These services also fail to provide IMAP or HTTPS connections for software based e-mail programs unless you pony up money for an upgraded account. Gmail, as fas as I know, provides neither. Since these services are free, uptime is not guaranteed, nor is continuation of service. If you want to find a reliable e-mail provider, check out Emailaddresses.com and its forums.
– Soli Deo Gloria