Open Source Browsers- Few months ago(spring 2004) I've discovered FireFox. Open Source browser, sortta lightweight version of Mozilla. After using it for a month or so it was clear I'd never go back to Microsoft Internet Explorer. Though at a time it was my favorite, simply because Netscape 4.71 and clones wre quite worse compared to it. FireFox which was known as FireBird and few other names before settling on FireFox, is a free browser. Installation by now is real easy and overall it is a lot more powerful in browsing capabilities than MSIE. Also, it is more compatable with WW3 standards. One great thign about open source is that now we have around 150+ plugins for FireFox. Which add all sorts of enhancements to it, and less likely you will get anythign like that in MSIE anytime soon. May be somewheren in 2007 or 2008 ;) If anything at all. Major highlights would be tabbed browsing, popup blocking, cookie management, and of course plugins, which make FF, Mozilla and clones capabilities practically unlimited.
FireFox/Mozilla Plugins- In general you should check out the full list of plugins. Tonns of stuff, donno what's better for you. I personally donno how did I survive withouth WebDeveloper plugin, or DOM Inspector(FF built In). Like I said there's over 150 of them. You'll find what you need.
Thunderbird- Mail client. I ilke it a lot. Switched to it frmo MS Outlook/Outlook Express. I don't care about hotmail integration or some other weird features. Small, fast enough, customizable, you can install various themes, highly configurable and again plugins.
To be Continued...