I found i Google to be very convenient and simple to utilize. On my homepage I had my e-mail, my reader and the weather, nothing fancy but it worked for me. I could change the backgrounds with the seasons or with my moods which was something I did frequently.
I will admit to having another private e-mail for family and friends that isn't public and has nothing to do with Google. I'm imagine most bloggers do the same thing. But the other e-mail provider doesn't have the type of home page that fits my needs.
Do you have a special place that you call homepage? What do you have displayed on your homepage? (ex. mail, news, weather). Do you care if there are options for backgrounds or are you the plain type?
I'd love to hear what everyone else is doing.