I’ve been using pine for a long time now — I remember it was the default mail client available at my university‘s computer sciencie department. If I remember correctly, I think it was the first program I ever used in a UNIX system (back in 96?).
In any case, after more than a decade using this program, I just found out that you can customize the display of the message list within a folder. I noticed that the list of messages looked different while browsing the Wikipedia entry for Alpine.
My personal setting now is:
index-format=STATUS MSGNO SMARTTIME FROMORTO(33%) SIZE SUBJECT(67%)
If you go into the configuration section, search for the “index-format” entry (^W index-format), and then hit ? to go to the online help entry, you will get access to all of the documentation available for this. Very cool stuff.