When I came back, elm, pine, and a few other favorites were not longer working. Tried for 5 minutes to get alpine working ... gave up. That was long ago.
At home, I've had an imap server for well over a decade. Can' imagine ever going back to non-IMAP email.
The the last 3+ yrs, much of my email has been gpg encrypted and the Enigmail extension for Thunderbird is pretty nice for that, although learning how to use pinentry with KeePassX was a little non-obvious.
There is hope for Mutt! Thanks for the idea! I'm very serious.