I'd like to echo the opinion that IMAP is a big help in getting to your mail in whatever way is convenient at the time.
Also, the Maildir mailbox format has all the advantages of the mh mailbox format (starting with separate files per message), plus more (no locking). And it's supported by more clients -- it's not just for qmail anymore. Check it out.
(I wrote an overview of mailbox formats last month.)
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