How much do you value control over your email? Enough that you're willing to pay for a custom experience, but not so much that you're willing to jump through hoops to do it? Microsoft might have your back: it just held a quiet launch of the public preview of Outlook.com Premium, a subscription version of its web-focused email service. Fork over $50 per year ($20 per year as part of a promo) and you'll not only ditch the ads on the web, but receive five personalized email addresses at no extra charge during the first year (it's $10 per year afterward). Microsoft will automatically share calendars, contacts and files between those custom addresses, too, so your family or small business will stay in the loop.
This is a preview, so it's going to be rough around the edges. There's no auto-forwarding or groups, for starters. If you can live with the omissions, however, the Premium service might strike a good balance between that urge for customization and the safety net you get through tech giants like Microsoft.