in reply to How I usually read my mail:
Funny this should come up now: I just recently moved away from Mutt to Thunderbird. My online university technically requires OE, but I've had no troubles using TB instead -- the only reason Mutt didn't work is that HTML-mail is required by the University.
I have this strange compunction to read all my mail with the same app, so I've moved over to TB entirely. Long live IMAP for making that painless!