Are we taking about email here? If so, are we also talking about SMTP? You can't get notification about success - read receipts are ultimately controlled by the receiving MUA or server. If they choose not to send any, then you won't get any. Failure notification is not guarenteed either. If you get a 550 error (mailbox unavailable) or if your server cannot resolve the domain you will get a failure message, and this message will contain a Message-ID header that corresponds to the message you sent. You can watch for that.
However, the SMTP standard does not specify any guarenteed way of publishing the success or failure of an email. As I've said, the conversation between two servers will give this sort of information, but there is no requirement for the result of that conversation to be passed back up a chain of SMTP servers.
We have an Other API forum where JavaMail gets discussed. I'm moving this there to see if anybody else can tell you more. [ November 23, 2006: Message edited by: Paul Sturrock ]