I did some looking through some links that I had been saving and found one on GoogleVoice. I’m still not sold, but it at least gave me some tips (plus did a better job illustrating some of its features):
I didn’t know about the setting to play voicemails directly in email (that’s what my school’s voicemail does and it is handy); I’ll be changing that today. And it does seem that the number can ring directly in Gmail. I’ll have to investigate that one.