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I am in the middle of doing the same thing (setting up my mail). I did get pine to work though... i think it only needs the one binary after it compiles(i couldn't get mutt to work w/ my mboxes for some reason). try using getmail to recieve- it works fine for me (the configuration was pretty basic). I am trying to get qmail to send stuff for me (it has it's own version of sendmail), so if you go that route, and you get it to send mail correctly, let me know... i'll be watching this thread.
I assume that you are looking for a Mail User Agent (ie pine) and not a Mail Transport Agent (ie sendmail). If you are looking for something pretty simplistic, elm should do the trick. You can find plenty of MUAs over at www.freshmeat.net If you are looking for an MTA to replace sendmail, Qmail and PostFix are popular alternatives.
right, so you don't actually care about having a client in a console... which is exactly what you asked for. try to know what you want out of a question before asking, eh? i also get the idea that you don't know what sendmail and pine really are...