... and labels are superior to folders (objectively so--they do the same thing as folders, only with an added feature)...
You are a fool. Probably a developer or so.
Labels are not superior to folders. Yes technically they offer more possibilities than folders. No that's not necessarily a good thing.
Having a predefined structure that you thought about, that is always visualised, and which fits for you to place all your mail in, is far better usabilty than being forced to attach zero, one, up to infinite criteria to each mail each time you receive one; It costs more time, your set of criteria will grow to infinity over time, you will get double labels meaning the same, you will not label emails in the same class with the same labels over time. In the end you are left with a bizarre pile of puke that has become usable only by searching it. And for searching a pile of puke you do not need labels.
Labels are very much inferior to folders.
And by the way, dargging in gmail sucks mightily, just like any other functionality. Both Yahoo mail and even Live Mail (sic!) are enourmously better, go figure what that means