You could get Entourage (Outlook for Mac), or Thunderbird, there are a few... There is one that I used in Beta for a while which rocked.. Post Office something I gotta find it.... I use Gmail so I prefer web than a thick client.
I use the Mail program that comes built in with the iMac and I think that it is great. If you have an iPod the Notes program that is part of the mail program is great for transferring data from the 'puter to the iPod....yes, it does not have smilies but it does have some other things and it marries up with the address book and the iPhoto program...all with the iMac!! Greatest thing that I did was to move from PC....never go back!!
I did a lot of work for "thick clients" - I quite liked them - they usually paid well
I want one like the one in the film - "When Harry met Sally" or was it "You've got Mail" or even the one in Mission Impossible - the Jove email thing
I run about 10 different emails addresses - to keep all my women admirers guessing - and I need a new one for Natasha from Russia who keeps contacting me now that Brian has made me famous with his PAD thing
Something colourful, expressive, dynamic, unusual - these Macs are supposed to be fund and this email thing I have on here is not - Oh I forgot (and cheap)
Hey Bill, i'd stick with Apple mail. It does all you need and it's clean. I have my Gmail email linked with Apple mail via POP3, Works like a dream. I've even made my mail alert the same as the text alert on my iphone, neat i'd say.
Bill, another vote for Apple mail from someone who used Entourage for a while on my home apple computers and who uses Outlook/windows at work daily. Additionally, if you can hold on until late 2010, MS Office 2010 for the Mac is supposed to have a much better mail program in the basic form of Outlook. We'll see how it turns out, and I wouldn't be surprised if the release date slides into 2011.