I got an incredible amount of support and helpfulness and booyah!s on my question about the Great E-mail Debate of 2010, and since you guys were nice enough to help me make my decision, I am going to tell you what I've decided.
1. First of all, no, I'm not going to stop replying to blog comments on a regular basis. I love the blog, I love discussing things in the comments, and I feel like the blog engenders all kinds of talk which is about everything, not just about me. It's what I enjoyed about the reading and writing LJ community way back when I started and I'm loathe to give that up.
2. I'm still planning on directing readers as much as possible towards the blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Places where it's speedy for me to reply. Plus a lot of questions can be answered by other readers on those places.
3. I'm keeping the snail mail address on my website. I designed and bought postcards for the express purpose of making snail mail work. See, le postcard?
4. Finally, I've reinstated an e-mail address that goes to a separate folder. I'm having my website updated to reflect this. and the mighty big disclaimer on it that says that I read them all but can't reply to all of them. Because yes, it's true. I've gotten some intensely private reader mails that have basically made my month as a writer, and if I don't have a place for those to be sent in confidence . . . then they just wouldn't get sent.
5. Part of this is because I read THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and loved it and wanted to send a message to Neil Gaiman saying so. I found his email on his website, with a big I CAN'T ANSWER THESE -- and it didn't bother me. I just wanted him to know that I loved it. So I sent off the e-mail, glad that I had a place to send it to. So there you have it. The Great E-Mail Debate of 2010.
Thank you EVERYBODY who commented and helped me make this extremely ulcertastic decision. I didn't think it would ever come to this and I feel simultaneously very lucky and a little sad that things have to change.