A few friends (and family members) e-mailed me anti-Gmail articles after I announced an e-mail account switch (and subsequently blogged about it). Those fears are misplaced.
After a few weeks of Gmail use, I still maintain: Gmail rules. It's like using Eudora or Outlook with a web interface, but with some better features. And if it uses a spider program to crawl through my e-mail, well, firewalls and spam-filters do that, too. It's not a big deal. If you require absolute privacy, you should not use e-mail and only surf the internet on public terminals. That's the only fail-safe way to prevent mining for personal data.
P.S. Poked around and found Gmail accounts going for up to $80.00 on eBay. Mostly going for $20 or so, but someone reportedly made a cool grand hawking these invites. Also check out this story on an enterprising 15-year-old re-seller. That's the internet for you: a perfect market where price immediately reflects hype-driven demand.
Btw, I've got no Gmail invites for you. Sorry.