Android - How do I avoid the server-specified security policies for my work e-mail?

First off, talk to your Exchange administrators. See if they deliberately are setting the mobile device security settings so tightly. I would have a discussion with them to see if they can loosen up the security settings.

If you only want email you could try K-9 from the app store. It uses IMAP to get the mail from the server so your exchange server will have to have that turned on.

A co-worker said he found a work-around with this app: Moxier Mail. I'm using the trial right now and I like it a lot. I really like that it lets me separate my work from the rest of my tablet. It also doesn't fall under the security requirements. It does require a pin for the app itself and there are useful widgets. All-in-all it seems even better than the built-in E-mail app. The full version's expensive, but my co-worker says it's worth it.

I highly recommend MailWise. It has an Exchange override that allows you to turn off the server's influence over your device. Use it at your own risk (your employer may get whiny about it) but I can say it does work very well.

In order to use the Exchange Security Bypass, you'll need to go to MailWise's FAQ and follow the instructions. You basically just select the override option in a settings menu, enter in a code (supplied on the FAQ) and re-enter your Exchange mail information. Don't bother making a work account in MailWise until you do this, as doing it deletes the old account and requires you to make a new one.

Once this is done, you have total control again and your work admin can't force certain security measures on YOUR device.