I do not like automatic mail replies. As a system administrator, bounces such as out-of-office notes, the vacation show-offs, got-a-new-address naggings, or not-read receipts, have caused me a lot of pain. They also pay my bills, I should say, but I do have enough to work anyway and could well get along without autoreplies.
Personally, I observe that the vast majority of autoreplies fits into at least one of the following categories:
Of course, there are exceptions, but I think they are rare and do not justify the efforts it needs to come by all the technical problems, and the nuisance. Indeed, there are plenty of technical issues:
Wholeheartedly, I recommend not to use autoresponders. Instead, try to tackle the situations proactively: Write in advance and personally to the people who need to know. Redirect your mail, give your secretary or your colleague access, or simply try to get on-line from time to time and have a look yourself.
In 2007, René Pfeiffer asked for good vacation mailers?. We don't like them, we do not recommend them, nevertheless, sometimes administrators are required (forced I should say;) to install them. I promised René to post my solution. Took me a while, though.
Fortunately, the code is complicated enough so that there's no need to fear that it gets widely applied :-X