and @Condo Chris
lets clear some things up...... If a doctor is using an AOL address, it is probably for personal use. Federal mandates would actually prohibit him from communicating with patients via email using an AOL account. AOL accounts are not secure enough given the nature of what is potentially contained in the email.
Do I hate GMail? No way. I use GMail for my personal email AND I use Google Apps for Business which gives me all the awesomeness of GMail with my "own domain" email address + no email scanning to target ads at me. It's also scaleable if my business grows beyond just me.
Does the domain extension matter in the grand scheme of things? No. Are there some reasons that you would want to have ownership over the domain? Obviously yes. Are there reasons why you wouldn't care or use a gmail/other email account? Obviously yes.
Just hear me out here.+'s of using "own domain" email address:
You legally own your domain. Therefore even if your email system provider goes bust, stops working, or you don't like it, you still own your domain and therefore can continue to use the same email....unless you start a website about terrorism than Homeland Security may seize your .com domain, rendering your email address useless.
More professional. Though obviously that is up for debate.....
No ad targeting. Did you know that Google servers scan all your attachments and emails to target ads to you within GMail and on other websites. Did you know that GMail uses that information to target ads at the people who sent you an email.
Less privacy concerns as you control the entire system and can improve the security of the email system.-'s of using "own domain" email address:
Obviously it's a pain in the butt.... people keep emailing you at your old email address+'s of GMail/AOL/Outlook.com/Et Cetera:
Rarely have technical issues because of the scale of the service and simplicity of the entire system.
Everyone has your email address because you've used it forever.-'s of GMail/AOL/Outlook.com/Et Cetera:
You don't own your email address. You could lose permanent access tomorrow without any recourse or being allowed to retrieve emails.... don't believe me? Read your Terms of Service.
No Backup. These free services do not backup your email. Therefore if something goes wrong or you need to recall an email from 6 years ago for taxes.... it may not be there.
Less security and privacy. They actively scan you emails and attachments (except for Outlook.com) to target ads at you.
At the end of the day @Condo Chris
you're right "who gives a f--k". An email address is like a phone number.... does it really matter if you have a 416 or 647 phone number, no. The real purpose of it is to allow people to contact you. Does a GMail, Hotmail, or "own domain" email achieve this? yes.
Also no one is going to bring this up as a buyer or seller, because it is silly. I do though bring it up with friends and family who run businesses because of the reasons I've mentioned above.