SQL Mail, and why Integration is Bad

I'm pretending to be a DBA at work, and I'm setting up a SQL Server instance. This is a machine that's going to be sitting all by itself (not in a domain) doing stuff, and I want it to be able to send email alerts to operators when it detects things that operators should know about (like low disk space).

SQL Server has a capability called SQL Mail that can do this, but it only works with MAPI. Windows 2000 Server doesn't come with a MAPI provider (you'd think "SQL Server 2000" and "Windows 2000 Server" would be made for each other, but apparently not.

The 'supported' way to send email from SQL Server is to install the Outlook client on your database server... but there are all these caveats about how this involves running the Outlook client on your server and if it pops up a dialog (for example if your mail server is down or refuses your authentication) then this could cause problems...

It's ridiculous. Why use MAPI? SMTP worked have worked fine.