So I decided to back up the 9-10 GB of content in my Gmail using Mail.app. I set up my account via POP. Both POP and IMAP are enabled in Gmail, and I have the ability to retrieve emails via POP since the time of the account's creation (i.e.-all emails). Mail is set up to leave messages on the server after downloading. I began the "retrieve new mail" process and it downloaded all my emails from 2005- late 2009, but then it slowed down drastically. Now it only downloads emails intermittently, 3-6 at a time, every 5-10 minutes. I can force it to fetch messages by repeatedly telling the app to get new mail (cmd + shift + n) and this seems to accelerate the pace of email download to a bearable rate, however I can't push this shortcut forever. I've never used Applescript or Automator before, and I couldn't figure out how to perform a loop and force Mail.app to repeatedly retrieve mail over a set interval. (I do know unix though, so I'm going to try to use a combination of shell+applescript). Of course this is a brute force solution, I'm not really solving the problem. Is there a buffer limit on how much mail I can fetch or something?