Regarding the part about owning your own domain and using wildcards so you can have e-mail addresses like [email protected] and [email protected]
I own my own domain and do this, but I add some random "key" to each one.. like..
I do this so that EVERY service gets a unique e-mail address. This makes it so that if someone has one, they can't guess another. This is to ward off attackers trying to gain access to other services I use. Plus if I start getting spam to a specific e-mail address, I know exactly where it originated.