Boycotting Gmail? What are the alternatives?

So I just read Josh's articles in The Washington Post about Google search alternatives. It got me thinking, what are the Gmail alternatives? We've all seen the "Gmail Man" video I'm sure (the video is embedded below if you haven't). I want to know is there any privacy advantages using something like Yahoo Mail, or is it just the same as Gmail? I'm not really paranoid, just curious. Like the guys said on the Vergecast, I just want the best service. If computers scan my emails for key terms and serve me ads in exchange for a quality free service I won't complain. But I just wondered what option there are out there, and what privacy advantages do they offer?