While cycling across the U.S. I was able to check email by downloading email headers, then selecting which messages to download in their entirety. All this was done at about 300 baud using the Sharp TM-20 pocketmail device with an acoustic modem, a public payphone, and an 800 number. I also composed most of the reports contained in my cross-country journal at www.restondigital.com/xustrip/. It's about the cheapest remote email device around.
At home I'm finally getting a cable modem after using a dialup connection for the past 7 years. I've appreciated, and develop, sites with limited graphics and simple layout, with those others with dialup connections in mind. I've also learned the joys of using the most bare-bones browser I know, Lynx.