There are quite a few innovative and useful features in OS X Lion, the new Apple Mac OS, but the newest version of Apple Mail is not one of them. We’ve never liked the dumbed down interface in the iPad mail client, and when Apple chose to make Mail just as simple it left my heart cold and sad.
I do not wish to be protected from useful information, for example the email address in the To: field. I have multiple email accounts on multiple providers and quite often I’ll receive a terse message sent by a person who has no grasp of context. For cases like that I want to know which of my email addresses the message was sent to in order to figure out what they are going on about.
If you find the new Mail interface as dreadful as I did you might get some relief by selecting Classic view in Mail preferences, but that still left a product that was dumbed down, with ugly, too large fonts in the sidebar, and otherwise a source of constant frustration.
After a few hours of trying this and that I have now settled on a commercial email application called MailMate which is going to save me the hassle of reverting my system back to Snow Leopard.
If you have not installed Lion yet *please* make a bootable total system backup first on an external hard drive using SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner (I like SuperDuper) because if there is something you do not like about Lion it will make going back to the way things were just a matter of a few clicks and then a bit of waiting.