> Do I really want separate applications for email and web browsing?
Only you can answer what you do or do not want. There are strong arguments in favour of keeping tools small and narrowly-defined, though; simplicity being one of the the strongest.
> An email program needs render html somehow anyways
No, it doesn't. An email client (MUA) needs to render RFC2822 messages, and should support MIME extensions also; but rendering HTML is the job of a web browser, not an email client.
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