I used Outlook for all of my email for years, and I'd gotten tired of some of its quirks and limitations in the more recent versions (I currently have 2010). It was useful to have all of my email loaded into a single user interface, so I wanted to find an alternative that would still give me that option.
As I've mentioned in earlier posts, a friend recommended Google's apps and email interface, so I've now converted to using Google for all of my email rather than Outlook. I've been able to set up Gmail so that it downloads my email from multiple sources (Comcast, my Tepato website, etc.), so I am able to have a "one stop shopping" set up which I prefer. To see how to use Gmail to pick up your other email accounts, see these instructions:
You can define a default email and have it always used as the "reply to" email. Or you can choose to have it automatically just reply from the same address where the message was sent (if they send it to your Gmail, it will use your Gmail as the reply address, or if they send it to your Comcast, it will use that one as the reply address). Gmail gives you 15 GB of storage space for free, and I've found that I'm using a pretty small portion of it. More space can be purchased but so far I'm more than fine with the free 15 GB.
The spam blocker in Gmail seems to really work great. Not only do the suspected spam messages get automatically put into a separate folder (so they aren't loading my inbox), but I seem to get a LOT less of them. I've literally gone from getting multiple dozens in a day, down to less than 1 dozen most days. I'm loving that aspect. The spam messages are automatically deleted after 30 days in my spam folder. I typically do check that folder at least daily, just to confirm that nothing legitimate ended up there by mistake, just to satisfy my paranoia.
I've recently helped a customer of mine to get set up to use Gmail to fetch his website email, and I'm curious to see if he experiences the same great result for spam. He gets hundreds every day and I'm hoping he will see an improvement like I have. I'll post an update on this soon, once he's had Gmail working for a few weeks.