Gmail has been my main email engine for years now. I'm totally comfortable with it. The ability to process, distribute and keep up with the flood of emails i get everyday from different resources, and the ability to search and find emails (even the very old ones) easily are the keys behind my loyalty to gmail.
Gmail supports some nice techniques that can be used while searching emails. Besides what you can use in the advanced search form. the command line approach (direct control from the simple search box) proves to be even more powerful.
Anything that can be controlled in the advanced search form, can also be done from the simple one provided that you know the right parameters.
You can specify: to, from, subject, a label, ...
What's more exciting is that you can specify several labels to search in, and several labels to be excluded from search. By default you have "read", and "unread" labels.
A frequent search query of mine is "l:inbox l:unread". this simple search query brings me only the new email that i want to see. removing the noise of message that has already been read.
There is one more thing to wish for though. I wish gmail team can add the simple feature of "saving a search". to be like a view... I do use my search queries repeatedly and frequently.. and got a bit tired of having to write them every single time i check my email... why cannot we have "saved searches" right above the labels or something.
I hope one of Google brilliant team of Gmail finds this suggestion. I do want to tell them: I do admire your product. Nice work guys, keep it up... together we can do even better.