How is the Android experience without GMail?

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http://androidforums.com – Hello, I'm interested in getting an Android phone for the first time, but not very eager to use a GMail account. I have one, but I don't particularly like the interface, and I would much rather use my Yahoo! or Hotmail accounts in my everyday use. I understand that Android offers several applications, such as Google Now, for which having a GMail account is an advantage and provides more functionality and better integration. I really don't see myself using a GMail account for everything, even though that is obviously what Google wants. How would my experience on Android be without one? (General)