Under the setting tab in Gmail you'll find lots of advanced options and tools. You can set up filters to handle certain kinds of email messages based on their sender or content. You can turn off some of the optional elements like Web Clips (which are like contextual news).
You can also configure Gmail to pull email from multiple email accounts. I've set my email accounts to just re-direct all my email to my Gmail account. Another option is to use IMAP. IMAP synchs your Gmail with another email account allowing you to maintain your email in more than one place. When I first started using Gmail I had my email re-direct from my old email box but kept a copy in my old account too. Occasionally, I would download my email into Outlook so I'd have it in two places--just in case. I turned that off after awhile. I've had no problems with Gmail; it's been very dependable. I no longer feel the need to have a "backup" to Gmail.
I've also added a few Firefox add-ons to Gmail. One is called "Better GMail". It adds attachment indicator icons to my messages. It also adds an icon that, when clicked, pulls up every email I've ever sent or received from the person who sent the email.
Recently, I've added the "Remember The Milk" task manager to my Gmail page. This is a simple to-do list application that sits right next to my Gmail inbox. There are many other Gmail add-ons (especially for Firefox). Lifehacker has a good list of some of the most popular.
If I've convinced you to give Gmail a try, be sure to adjust the "Send mail as" setting under the "Accounts" tab in "Settings." Your outbound email ought to show your professional email address that uses your company's domain. Just add your official email address to the "Send mail as" option and all the outbound email from Gmail will carry your official business email address for the "sent from" and "reply to" addresses.
Considering how important email is to our daily lives, and how much time we spend using it, a better, more efficient approach is welcome. There are quantifiable efficiencies to be gained by using Gmail, so it's well worth the transition time. So go ahead, make the jump to Gmail. Give it a few days and you'll never go back.