If you just was a straight forward no nonsense free email account that isn't linked to an ISP, I'd suggest GMX rather than Gmail. You can choose gmx.co.uk or gmx.com email addresses. Comes without all the multifarious paraphernalia that Gmail comes with. Access as webmail or POP / IMAP via an email client.
I've been using for quite some time now and have absolutely no issues with it.