I suspect my web host has some php functions disabled – maybe imap_open()? I’ve searched around the wordpress site and all looks OK as far as the version of PHP my web host is running. The error I get back is quite uninformative:
POP3 connect: Error  
Not very informative. Maybe I am an idiot…
1. This post indicates that I need to change my pop connection to ssl://pop.gmail.com. Didn’t help. But I think that is because of…
2. This post that indicates that the php method fsockopen() may be disabled by my free web host. Bugger – it is disabled.