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Improvements needed to Gmail App

I got an Android device specifically for Google integration, since my employer uses Google for 50% of our work (email, calendar, chat). Yet bizarrely, Android's Gmail app seems to be the weakest point of their platform.

IMHO (and please not let this become some kind of fanboy bashfest of someone trying to put in constructive criticism here):

  • The "Reply," "Reply All," and "Forward" buttons are very inconvenient -- at the bottom of the message, rather than a toolbar of some kind. This means that when I want to respond to one of those interminable email chains, I have to scroll past wads of old crap to reply.
  • I've had intermittent success with forwarding attachments. It seems unpredictable when an attachment will forward and when it won't. Can someone shed some light into when it works? I suspect it has something to do with Outlook or other clients that attach files in non-standard ways.
  • Very limited offline functionality. I would really prefer if there were an IMAP mode so I can review email while offline (e.g. on the plane or underground).
  • Specific to the Droid: The D-Pad has so much potential, but instead all it does is jump from link to link in an email, which I do not find intuitive at all. At a minimum I'd think that the D-Pad would let you scroll; ideally, I'd like to see the D-Pad help solve the first problem described above (lack of access to the reply and forward buttons).
OK, so enough whining from me. I'd appreciate any solutions to the above (and "Shut up and deal with it" is not appreciated). It could be keystroke shortcuts I'm not aware of, apps that work better than the default Gmail program, pending app updates that take advantage of the Droid's unique hardware, etc.
I use K9 mail (free in the market). It also has the reply and forward buttons at the bottom of the message but you can hit the menu button at the bottom of the phone screen and those choices are there as well. You might check to see if the standard gmail app has that feature.
Thanks for the tip, I'll check that out.

The Menu button in Gmail doesn't offer "reply" or "forward." It does offer some things I *DO* like, which are Gmail tagging as well as "Mark Unread."
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I know the attachment & truncating links issues have been discussed in depth. You may want to search the forums on this. Esp. in the aplications area.

Sorry I can't help more.
Lots of stuff to shovel through in the search results, I'll keep looking. If you happen to have the threads handy would appreciate if you'd post them. But I can definitely go look - thanks!
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