I’m hopeful.

Maildir would place thunderbird at the front of the pack.

Thunderbird is one of the better mail clients in existence, and I support thunderbird on several computers. However, I hesitate to recommend thunderbird because it does not support local maildirs. Backups using time machine or rsync are painful for users with even modest mboxes. Also, maildir solves several other obvious issues (i.e. locking, reliability, speed, mailbox size). IMHO, Maildir support would make thunderbird the best, most *reliable* GUI email client, and I would have no reservations in recommending it in all situations.
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