What luck! I just came in here to post that exact same question, and it's the first thing I saw!
I didn't even have to search!
I need to build the exact same thing, and would like to have a way to send an automated email message from other domains.
I was wondering if this type of functionality existed in an application like Drupal already?
Anyway, I'll follow this thread carefully - I'll post my solutions as I find them and let you know what works.
Regarding the generation of subdomains, I remember looking into this about a year ago and recall that one hosting company, lunarpages allowed unlimited subdomains at that time.
I'm now using GoDaddy, and have had to resort to some trickery to get certain things to work (like .htaccess), otherwise, I am very happy with them, although they are not a host for newbies who cannot do almost every single thing for themselves.