Thanks for the quick response pvonk. I received an email from Apple on May 1st stating:
working after MobileMe ends, even if you don’t meet iCloud requirements."
So I called Apple Support and was told that they had in fact just made it possible for me to sign up for iCloud and continue receiving email at my mac.com email address with my G5 iMac running 10.4.11, even though I am not running Lion on a newer machine.
What I am trying to learn is how to configure my Mail V2.1.3 application so I don't have to sign in to iCloud every time I want to check my email, if this option is even possible.