Sorry, that happens when you don't read the post properly Apologies.
1) You can go with the default just by sending e-mails to your members via the default e-mail feature. No extra SMTP settings needed, via PHP.
2) Also if you prefer a SMTP server, there is an option group where you can set your smtp server. There are some threads here in this forum where people set up gmail as smtp server.
3) Mailchimp is pretty decent you can send out up to 2000 of your subscribers for free. A benefit is your server IP is not in danger of getting blacklisted and mailchip offers good analytic tools and tracking features.
Also check out Mandrill - it's an email delivery and tracking system from the guys at MailChimp.
You can use it directly via SMTP or via its API. It also has a webhook feature where you can set up a call-back URL where it sends notifications of bounced emails so you can mark them as bad in your user database.
It does implement it's own internal throttling based on your deliverability results (ie too many bounced emails = throttled sending), and you'd not want to hit it with 7,000 emails all at once - best to let it ramp up a bit first to ensure it knows you're not a spammer.
It allows 12,000 emails to be delivered each month for free, or you can pay $9.95 per month for 40,000 emails per month.