I have a couple of goals:
1. I want to make sure I can easily get all my email and attachments exported from Gmail so I have it in a usable format locally.
2. I am looking for a good gmail alternative. Here are the best things I have found:
- Opera Mail: not free but seems to have some good reviews
- hosting exchange myself such as the $9.99/mo plan on 1&1
- maybe something local with Thunderbird, but maybe backed up off site