Mail Inbox and Sent box disappeared

The Inbox and Sent boxes appear empty and do not respond. Trying to move messages from other boxes to the Inbox results in a message saying the box does not exist.
Not able to send or receive mail to the computer. MobileMe works.
Have recovered the last inbox, but cannot move the recovered msgs to the Inbox.
Cannot rebuild the Inbox as that item in the menu is grayed out.
Reindexing the boxes does not solve the issue.
Questions: Is there a fix within the current configuration that does not lose the contents of either box? Would downloading a new Mail app fix the problem and recognize the old mailboxes? If I have to install a new Mail app, where do I get it?
Appreciate any help

all the mail content (but not the headers) in my Inbox and Sent box disappeared.
Setting up the same account twice in Mail is probably what got you into trouble. I suspect Mail simply removed all mailboxes associated with that account without checking to see whether they belonged to the original or the dupe.
Do the disappeared messages from my Inbox, and their attachments, all exist somewhere on my Mac even though I can't see them (I have searched the Library)?
Very unlikely. Try looking in the ~/Library/Mail/ folder (where '~' means "your user folder). See if there are any mailboxes still there that might be appropriate, and try duplicating them to the desktop and then import them into a new mailbox. That's unlikely to work, but you never know.
Is there any utility out there that might help me to find them?
If they're really gone, no. If you have backups, you can restore them from the backup, of course. But without backups, the best you'll be able to do is try a data recovery tool, which is unlikely to give very good results in this case, but would be worth a try if there's no other option.
And what happens to attachments in Mail nowadays, when there seems to be no separate Attachments folder?
Attachments are stored with the message, just like they are sent across the internet as part of the message. They are not automatically decoded and saved as individual files somewhere. That happens when you either open them or tell Mail to save them somewhere.

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