A couple of weeks ago my precious business email on gmail became unavailable, some weird account maintenace error. This is a kind of a disaster — loss of business, loss of clients, not to mention the overwhelming feeling of suspence, and insecurity. It was fixed after only six hours, and I didn't loose too much, but it could be worse — for some the similair outage lasted for weeks. So when access was restored I tied email to the domain I owned, but not used for over two years.
(If or when Google screws it again, and according to common sense shit happens at least twice, I'll just change DNS MX record with the registrar.)
Besides, I created something, that someday will become a decent site that will bring some leads. Otherwise pretty cool domain would remain inactive for years. So I say, thank you very very very much, Google.
The bottom line, moral of this story, etc.: if you are a freelance translator, a freelancer of other kind, or a small business owner, who's still relying on free email service, do yourself a favor, buy a domain, and connect it with your email. This way you'll get a very simple failover mechanism, transparent for your clients, and some peace of mind for a small price of 20 USD per year.