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I'm also using Apple Mail, so same remarks as Craig above...

I set up my email back when I was using Entourage with the whitepaper from DACo. So, similarly to what you're describing, I've got multiple folders GTD-style in Mail.
My @Action folder holds emails I'm planning to reply on for which I'll need >2mins. I generally don't enter "reply on: email" stuff in OF: I use OF for emails I'm planning to write from scratch or for reminders of emails I'm waiting to hear back on.
If I need to use stuff from an email for another actionable (may be writing another email or some other form of action, although I'm moving most of the latter either directly into OF or Evernote/SimpleNote/Dropbox [Thanks Curt Clifton & whpalmer!], I move the email with the support material to @Action Support.
My Waiting For mailbox is seldom used these days.
I empty my email inbox by using Mail Act-On and the trash extensively to a full hierarchy of folders that mirrors both my OF hierarchy, my files hierarchy on the Mac (created mostly using Ready-Set-Do!), and ultimately my physical filing system. It only sucks when I'm not at my laptop and need stuff from an email that's in one of those folders (they're not synced to the cloud, but I'm assuming you wouldn't have this problem using GMail), but I'm working around this by putting the stuff I need for reference/project support in Evernote/SimpleNote.

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