I've been using Google Apps for a short time now and I like it. It was fairly painless to set up -- which is even less painful if you go through one of Google's partners, such as GoDaddy, when you buy your domain. I think it makes sense to set up a domain even for families. It is easier to get grandpa Joe's email working if everybody is using the same tools. I encourage you to take a peek at Google Apps. Who knows, maybe you'll come up with the next Twitter and tell the tale to your friends and family about how you started out with nothing but an idea and a domain name?