Gmail's reliability honcho jumped on the webmail's official blog last night to explain what happened during yesterday's repeated outages. The gist? They took down a few servers for maintenance Tuesday morning (US Pacific time) for maintenance, expected the webapp's "request" routers to handle all the re-directs to valid servers, and ... were unpleasantly surprised. The Gmail team notes that IMAP/POP worked throughout the outages, and that they're working on a fix for similar problems in the future.
How did you end up dealing with Gmail's downtime yesterday? Did any of the alternate ways into Gmail work for you, or did you just have to relinquish availability for a short while?