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Mutt is very capable (so I am led to believe), but it's a bit of a pig to learn. The "selling point" which has been offered to me is that if you do a lot of email processing, and you can ride the learning curve to muscle memory, mutt is very fast and efficient to use. I never heard anyone saying it is use friendly.
In the past I've used pine, mailx, and I emacs in terminals (start emacs with the -nw option to use the curses interface). I only used pine for any length of time, because I used it at college back in the days when GUI based mail clients were considered the height of bad taste. It was OK back then, but I don't know how much I'd enjoy using it these days.
mutt is sweet, cone was also nice when i used that for a while, but not as good, and as i originally learnt pine / pico, trasferring to mutt / vi about 3 years later was a revelation. what i did like was mutt-ng, which had a lot of patches, a sidebar to provide a real standard 3 pane layout (yes yes, a la outlook but sod it...), another patch i liked was a header download patch to allow advanced download of email and such, all 1very comfortable whilst keeping the speed of vi and all.