Clwelle, welcome to the BBForums.
Your $30 plan is likely the BIS plan, BlackBerry Internet Service, which is pretty much unlimited data for the device, email, web browsing, third party data , etc. All except SMS text messages which is routinely an add-on.
You can configure you email to the device. It is a simple procedure, however HotMail has been disabled my Microsoft from being able to forward to BlackBerrys, and for the time being, Microsoft requires using the $20 Hotmail Plus accounts.
All that said, here is the simple setup you will need: How do I upgrade the OS on my BlackBerry? - BlackBerryFAQ
Personally, I would not use the @vzw.blackberry.net address... those email addresses do not filter spam, and if you ever change carriers, you will lose it.