RH 6.0 with kernel 2.2.9-ac5, i586, mutt 0.95.4us, gnome-terminal 1.0.4.
Changed gnome-terminal colours to be "pretty" (ahem) background that looked reasonable on my not-very-good monitor. Started mutt. Mutt ignored my gnome-terminal colours and defaulted to yellowish (wheat?) on black. Looks very bad on poor monitors. Eyestrain. Ugh. I had changed gnome-terminal colours for a reason!
Assumed initially that it was something to do with mutt's colour stuff and wasted lots of time trying things with that. It's actually (I think) slang. Once I set the environment variable COLORFGBG="default;default" then mutt used the colour I'd set and I could read email without a headache. (Lynx uses slang, I believe, and gets my background colour right, so it should be possible.)
It would be nice if either mutt was shipped assuming that COLORFGBG was default;default, or bash was shipped with COLORFGBG set in the profile or bashrc. Or if these are wrong answers, if _something_ was done so that mutt uses the terminal background colours you've set rather than it not knowing you've set it and being creative for you.
Linebreaks, please - netscape doesn't deal too well without
Fixed in mutt-0.95.6us-2, which will go out in the next
Raw Hide release.