I was afraid of that. As to unix, is it safe to assume that extends to Linux distros? I may add Ubuntu to my pc in the next few months.
It would sound then like I should continue as I am at present - save my email and photos and that there is no free or low cost solution to bring all of them under one roof, if you will.
Wrt photos, I'm aware conceptually of metadata and photos but have not used it for any practical purposes nor how it might be used as part of a database app like Access or if Access would even be appropriate to use for photos. The only photo DB recommendations I've seen are Picasa and a program called DigiKam at SourceForge. DigiKam looks like it has a steep learning curve.
Wrt email, I'm pretty sure I want to keep them as searchable text files (re: items 1 and 5 in your list). I know that at least Outlook will perform a keyword search across all the emails in my folder whereas I'm not aware of an equivalent program for pdf files. It seems like I should be able to export them into something like Access or a competing db program.