Last week I switched the way our email comes in from UUCP to SMTP, which provides for a little more speed in receiving incoming messages (and runs over the 56K Frame Relay connection rather than the modem). The transition may have produced a few bounces, but by the time you read this most everything should have been ironed out. However, please note that auto-replies (such as the <firstname.lastname@example.org> address) won't be handled any more quickly, since nothing currently does auto-replies via SMTP.
The technique I'm using may be of interest. Originally, <tidbits.com> pointed at my UUCP account. Now, <tidbits.com> points at <king.tidbits.com>, my SE/30 running MailShare. I set MailShare up to forward all the auto-reply addresses to <penguin.tidbits.com>, which is my 660AV running UUCP/Connect. So, when you send email to <email@example.com>, it goes to my SE/30, then MailShare forwards it back to my provider's host to wait for the next UUCP connection, at which point your message comes into the 660AV, is processed, and awaits the next connection to go back out. In contrast, my personal mail waits on the SE/30 until I have Eudora check my POP account there.
Also, since UUCP accepts email for all userids at the domain, mail to "aec" or other incorrect addresses used to get through to my machine and I'd find it weeks later. Now, incorrectly addressed email will bounce back to its sender. [ACE]