Mail can be set to disable remote images, but Spotlight should follow the mail settings. The real issue I think, is that Spotlight results also include email from junk mail folders, which is mostly useless (unless searching for email incorrectly tagged as SPAM). This should be disabled, and a user should have to knowingly venture into their SPAM folder to find such messages. Loading remote images from the junk folder is just crazy, beyond even the stupidity of indexing and searching in junk folders. Apple is falling further and further away from Sir Issac's tree it seems.
Is this the post-Jobs era of Apple we should come to expect? I have been using Macs and iPhones since around 2001, and they have been relatively stable, fast, and seemingly more secure than Windows. But lately, it seems they are just riddled with annoyances and bugs I fear will worsen as time goes by.
Note to Tim: Don't accept mediocre standards, or you will loose what has made you great. Put the features on hold! Fix Fix FIX.... Your users will be happier, and thank you.