I have an AOL account and with that comes 4 choices for email:
1. Use their bloated proprietary ISP software which comes with a browser, instant messenger, etc. I don't want to do this because email links open in their built in browser and not my default browser and I get annoying security messages from the built in IM client (and my regular one) about being logged in multiple times, each time I switch screen names to check all 4 mailboxes (It's almost like having noisy popups that can't be blocked).
2. Use their webmail with the browser of my choice. It's slower than a constipated snail. I don't like how it handles image attachments, it messes up the file names and animated .gif files just don't save correctly for some reason, and sending mail can be a pain. It has no ability to send inline image attachments and the receivers of my emails complain about images that should be in the email ending up in a zip file instead.
3. Use some software or service to convert the webmail to POP3. At first this seems like it would be the best solution, but this makes email take forever to retrieve if there is a lot or they have attachments, and sending email with embedded images seems to always result in it added as an attachment and not how it is intended to look. Not only that, but if I get some spam with something nasty as an attachment it will automatically end up on my PC when I download my mail and I'll have to clean that up. I'd rather not.
4. Get yourself an email client that supports IMAP. I have been using OE with it and it's much faster than the POP3 solutions and I don't have to worry about attachments from unknown sources as the attachments are not downloaded till I choose to do it, but I would love to have a better IMAP application, that possibly could take the mail from there (based on some rules) and automatically forward everything (with attachments) to my gmail account so I will have everything in one place.
Now I would just notify people of my gmail address and just have them send everything there and not worry about AOL mail at all, but I am on a few private 'AOL Only' mailing lists that will only send to you if it's an AOL email address. On top of it, I am having a problem with Ebay not wanting to allow me to change my email address on my account to one that isn't ISP based, so I am stuck with it being AOL or Verizon. (I have never used my Verizon email address for ANYTHING and I don't plan to start)
Which brings me to my ongoing quest to find the perfect free email client that can handle IMAP and do that forwarding thing, how I want it.