I like kmail.Its fairly easy to setup and if you click on a link posted to your email,it fires up konqueror.(This assumes you use kde.)Go into kmail and on the menu bar,choose file>settings.You only really have to use the 1st two pages.
To set up kmail you need:
your email address
in the network part of settings:
server=isp's mail server name
incoming mail=your email address
The Netscape or Mozilla mail programs are okay and also easy to setup.I know some CLI die-hards use elm and pine and you'll likely hear from them soon.
As far as uninstalling stuff you dont need,just bring up your package manager and choose what packages you want to uninstall.You may want to run a test(doesnt uninstall anything)to be sure it doesnt $&(@up any other program.This also assumes you are using an rpm-based system.Debian uses DEBs and Slackware uses tarballs.
What distribution and ver. of Linux are you using?