I recently made the switch away from Gmail as my primary email address and so far, all is going well. I'm using Fastmail, mapping it to an address on this domain, and using MailMate (which has been amazing thus far) to run the whole thing. It has been weird explaining to people that I'm using a different email address (the most common question is “WTF is WTW?") but for the most part the responses have been “oh, alright.” and everything's carried on as normal.
Part of what I changed along with my email address was how I sync contacts & calendars; for the longest time I've used Google as my One True Holy Canon™ but with Gmail out of the picture I thought it prudent to re-evaluate. Without the complete interconnectedness that Gmail+Gcal+Gaddresses offers, I saw no great reason to stick within the empire. I looked around a ton but nothing stood out that was as feature complete as either Gmail or the next best alternative: iCloud. So…
Out of the Frying Pan
I've moved contacts and calendars to iCloud. I realize it's a bit of a dubious move given that I'm not technically paying Apple for those services, but I feel like it's a step in the right direction at the least. My decision was guided mostly by the fact that Fastmail doesn't have read/write support for their LDAP address book and offer no calendaring service whatsoever.
Update 2013-11-05: Apple's got a little PDF titled “Report on Government Information Requests” that has a great pull quote: “Perhaps most important, our business does not depend on collecting personal data.” While it's hardly absolution, it makes me feel a little better.