When comparing gnus vs Alpine, the Slant community recommends Alpine for most people. In the question“What are the best native e-mail clients for Linux?” Alpine is ranked 11th while gnus is ranked 14th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro It supports IMAP and POP3
… but you can use DavMail to connect to Exchange server via EWS.
Pro Everything is customizable
Yep, really. From Outlook-mode, where Outlook-typical TOFU mails are “repaired”, up to a high-sophisticated scoring and SPAM filtering, footer lines with quotes, rules depending on the recipient, MIME formatting, boxquotes, etc.
Pro Extremely user-friendly
Pro Can use the built-in text editor or can be integrated with another text editor
Alpine comes with pico, a lightweight text editor which can also be used as a standalone tool. It can also be integrated with vi, vim, emacs, etc... if the user prefers to do so.
Pro On-screen contextual help
Alpine has contextual help that can be displayed on-screen. Removing the need to consult the man pages every time you forget a command or how to do something inside it.
Con Difficult documentation
Originally a newsgroup reader, so its documentation uses Usenet terminology for everything -- which is confusing.
Con Updates are not frequent
Alpine is not updated frequently. This means that new features, bug fixes or security updates come much later than in other email clients.