As a newbie to the Dallas franchise I enjoyed it. I found the stuff with the new cast just as interesting as the stuff with the original characters. I was kinda surprised by just how much the original actors were in this. I figured they'd have a couple of token scenes here and there, but they actually seem to be just as much of a focus as the kids. I'll admit other than Revenge I'd never really been into this kind of soapy stuff, but I really enjoyed these two, and might check out more of these kinds of shows.
As for the email, I didn't think of the theory that seems to be the dominant one here, but it seems pretty likely to me.