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[school-discuss] Google Mail tips

Our school District just switched from a proprietary mail system (using Microsoft Exchange and Outlook) to Google Apps for Education and Google Mail.  While this should have been a positive switch since Google seems more interested in cooperating with Open Source applications and using open standards, so far the experience has been fairly difficult.  We have far less functionality than we did with Microsoft.  Also, from what I've heard from other schools using Google Apps, they just don't have their IT departments attempting to lock down the system like we do here.  For instance, they're using Postini to block spam and not only is blocking spam, it's blocking some valid messages interchanged within the District and giving no indication to sender or receiver that the information is not going through.  Also, Google Chrome isn't yet among the officially allowed software within the District, because some of our systems can't work with that browser, so access to Google Mail within the District is by IE 8 only at this point.  To deal with the various difficulties in switching over, I've been trying to compile some tips and work-arounds for using Google Mail and even writing some code to make up for a few deficiencies when I can.
Was curious if anyone else was using Google Mail.  Would appreciate sharing or exchanging tips on it.  Would also be interested to hear if anyone's using Open Source applications (other than browsers) in conjunction with Google Mail and how that's working out.
Here's a link to the tips, tricks and code I've been compiling:
Anyone have other tips to share or other resources they'd recommend for working with Google Mail?  Thanks.