12hourhalfday, the "lettermelater.com" testimonial is hilarious! lookes like that could be my best bet considering that, after many years of trials and tribulations with various email problems, i'm all about flat out gmail.
caitlindimareoliver, thanks for the insightful tips and tricks for outlook. A lot of features there! However, my days of using any microsoft product are over, so outlook isn't an option for me. I prefer just firefox gmail, and rarely use mac mail (but of course use all apple software products for everything work related). But thanks anyway!
mmurray, thanks again for the info. eudora sounds like it has the feature, however, like I mentioned to caitlindimareoliver I'm not interested in cluttering my Applications folder with many 3rd party non-Apple apps, especially ones I'll rarely use. so i'm not interested in the eudora option, either.
hagadol, thanks for those thunderbird plug-in links. Because mozilla software typically floats my boat, this and possibly the lettermelater.com link might be options.
Thanks I really appreciate the time you took to research this you guys. HUGE help!!