I really try. Merlin seemed to really be on to something. The premise makes sense, always keep a keep a clean slate and don't leave it sad. And by "sad", I mean crufty threads that won't and can't leave the inbox. Last I looked I had 346 items in my inbox, 66 of which were unread.
And it's not my fault.
My first instinct was to start measuring. I spent the last twenty minutes googling for some sort of plugin that does some deep analytics of email messages to establish trends. The simple idea of being able to measure simple items such as my top sender, recipient, thread, topic, sender whom I delete, sender whom I reply, hours spent in the inbox, high volume email hours, high volume email days, etc seems to be a rather straightforward and (slightly) useful thing.
I did certainly find some GTD, sales, and project management plugins; none of which seem worthy enough to mention let alone trial. But the fundamental problem is the simple fact that whichever agent I use should not be a burden or a hassle but a tool that enables.
Inbox Zero is a patch to a truly basic problem: corporate email does not scale to the email agents that exist.
This should have been apparent when Merlin couldn't answer a basic question on handling group responses to an email thread in his google presentation. Hindsight is always 20/20. No solutions here, just a sad rant.