I give people grief all the time for:
- using their work account for all their email, and/or
- using a web-based email service that gets filled with spam, doesn't support very much email, and is really hard to use if you get a lot of mail
It turns out that the Vancouver Community Network offers free email accounts to registered members, which can be accessed via POP or IMAP (i.e. these are real accounts that you can setup on your computer). As well, you can also access them via webmail.
What about just using the email address that comes with your Internet connection? Well, the difficulty there is that if you switch providers, you lose your address. Since deals are always changing, or you might move, having your address being held hostage by your service provider is not a great option. As well, their webmail often sucks.