OK, we've established that email sucks. Problem is, it's not going away anytime soon, so how about making it suck less? Want to help? Start writing shorter emails. Get concise, punchy even. Dispense with small talk. Ditch the "Sorry to bother you" niceties and get to the point. Twitter, BBM, texts and IMs have gotten us used to brevity. What might seem curt to the point of rudeness is just good business.
With over 300 billion messages sent every day - think of how many bits we'd save if just stopped asking "How are you doing?"
Speaking of dispensing with niceties - stop the unnecessary answering of email! Your reply to all with a "Sounds great! Thanks!" doesn't get anything done and just killed 30 seconds of my life opening and reading it.
Give and take. You need to suck it up and not take offence the next time you get a terse. "Just do it" message. You also need to trust the email you sent out with concise directives is clear and not fret when you don't receive an "AOK" response. I'm just as guilty as the next person, but I'm working at fixing that.