In the next week, Gmail will be rolling out a feature known as Priority Inbox, allowing you to (and gmail) to bring to the top of your inbox the most important messages & threads. How does it work (other than by magic)?. Here's a video from Google to give you the overview.
You should start seeing it in the next few days (I saw it this morning) at the top right of your screen (with the words Beta - Priority Inbox). I'm using it...and will let you know more about it in a bit.