Please, please, let me explain myself! I wrote this post on the necessity for lawyers to brand themselves using something other than email@example.com. The concept is simple: Gmail is becoming the next AOL when you’re talking professionalism. I’m taking a lot of heat for those comments.
I didn’t mean to imply that Gmail doesn’t have merit, rather I think you can easily import your branded email address into Gmail and present a more professional aura (not stuffiness). In fact, I forward my hosted address’s messages to my Google Apps for Business address, and trick people into thinking I’m a big wig by “sending mail as” my hosted address. Then, I manage all emails through Gmail and nobody is wiser.
I also have a personal Gmail address (2 actually) that I use to manage personal items I don’t care to mesh with my office, even though I’m in a small firm. In fact, all of the messages sent to firstname.lastname@example.org get handled in my personal Gmail account. Could you even tell?
Of course I believe that Google has a place in all of our worlds. I also think we need our own piece of unique personality, even if in the end, the personality gets managed by Google.