You’re right about the state of email today. It’s a pain in the *ss. Getting them to appear correctly in different clients is as bad, or worse, than different browsers. I feel your pain!
But, as an entrepreneur, I’m interested in creating the future. And if it’s a choice between paying a small number of companies to intermediate my contact with customers, or building on a email as an open platform, I’d side with the latter.
Email technology will improve, probably faster than ever before. What works on half the clients today will work on them all in a few years. And this will open up a tonne of possibilities. I’m optimistic :)