We first got online as a family with Progidy which offered free time for access to their grief support group for parents who had lost children. Combined with the off-line tools (which downloaded the message boards and let you read and respond off-line), it was a source of support and help.
We then picked up GNN which had a local POP (point of presence -- a way to connect with a phone modem without a long distance call) after Juno suddenly became a long distance call from where we were. GNN got swallowed whole by AOL, and the e-mail accounts all went away.
I have my own domain, which let me use Eudora, until my ISP discontinued my e-mail service because of the the "hope" spam sent to adrr.com. Hundreds of thousands of spam sent every day to addresses spammers hope existed at adrr.com were effectively acting as a denial of service attack.
But AOL has taken to upgrading itself, automatically sometimes, and when it does that, all the saved e-mail folders disappear. Including all the e-mails saved to my PC.
Which is, needless to say, annoying. (As an aside, I've used other e-mail clients, use outlook at work, etc. I can save outlook e-mails by drag and drop into outside folders and keep everything organized and permanently saved there, rather easily -- almost enough for me to consider it at home).
It is enough for me to consider switching to gmail on a permanent basis, especially with the domain name feature.