Can I can set up a gmail account to *automatically* check my firstname.lastname@example.org POP3 account, and then have it *automatically* forward that email to my email@example.com address? (and leave it on the pacbell server)
Yes, This Gmail scheme does in fact work. The only downside I see is that all my mail now also goes through Google's servers, so slightly less private.
Would be nice to have a standalone app that I can run locally, so still looking if one exists. I did try Foxmail, but it's in Chinese.