I don't know why this has not gotten more press. You should take a look at Microsoft's new Gmail killer, outlook.com. It's a totally web based email client, like Gmail, but the user experience is miles and miles better than Gmail.
Now I am a huge Gmail user, and generally I get along really well with it. It has years of my emails and I have fully mastered its tricks and hacks. It works, it's reliable and it's free.
But boy, as a user interface, isn't Gmail UGLY?
And now look at Microsoft's Outlook.com. I didn't even realize that such great, responsive UI could be built in html. It might still be missing some features, and maybe MSFT will clutter it up when they add them, but for now, it is impressive.
By the way, the world of Outlook.com is new enough that the good email addresses might still be available, so get your firstname.lastname@example.org while you still can!