Stoic Joker, you seem happy with the solution you chose, but I'm thinking back on how you gushed about Exchange a bit at the top of this topic.
Oh dear ... I hadn't realized I was "Gushing" - That's not very Stoic of me - I'll have to be sure to curtail that in the future to keep my reputation intact..
But seriously, the solution discussed here was/is for my home lab network and replaced an aging/EoL (Virtual Server 2007) Windows Server 2003 POP/SMTP server that I'd been running for a decade. It only controls my personal domain with a small number of mailboxes. So given what else I do I didn't want to spare the resources doing a full blown Exchange implementation because it would cut too far into what I have available for experimentation.
Note: I'm the Network/Systems Administrator for one of the largest IT companies in the area, and we have an MSDN subscription. So experimentation can occasionally require quite a few resources when I use my home lab as a 'the other end' of a test setup.
Point being I didn't replace Exchange with hMailServer, we still run Exchange at the office. I used it to replace my - self hosted - personal domain mail server. Both are stellar solutions for their appointed tasks (Crap - I think I might be gushing again..).
I thought I'd throw out that I use Exchange on Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 run virtually on my Windows 8.1 home PC. I don't use the email function, just the calendar, but I know it can be done.
That must be one hell of a calendar!
I do believe it is safe to say that Virtualization is by far my favorite technology to play with.
At the time, I used Virtual Box by Oracle, as SBS2008 wasn't listed as Hyper-V compatible. I learned by trial and error that it actually works fine with Hyper-V (better in fact).
I don't think there is any MS OS that can't be run on Hyper-V - I've got a copy of DOS v6.22 virtualized on my lab domain now. It really is amazing how few resources a server OS requires when it isn't having to futz with the hardware.
I apologize if I've gone off-topic, or made you second guess your solution. Maybe I'll solicit a critique on the advantages of the other solutions written here. I'm really a novice as I haven't used the email of my Exchange at all.
Looks on topic to me.. If you try using Exchange for you Email, just remember their are a list of caveats a mile long with self hosting because of spammers, and viruses making everyone paranoid as hell about anything coming from a residential IP address.
I'm not saying not to do it ... I'm just cautioning not to go live with a critical system (like your primary Email address's domain) until you're sure your ISP allows it, your - server side - spam filter will hold, and you have enough space for what Exchange is about to do -(transaction log size will skyrocket)- to your hard drives. And etcetera...
Can Exchange go right on your Windows Server 2012?
Yes, Exchange 2007 and above will run in Server 2012.
I know Server 2011 required the Standard addition for Exchange, unless that's another Microsoft ommission.
For a single server implementation common sense requires the Standard edition of Exchange, as the cost of Enterprise licensing is pointless outside of a huge multi server corporate environment.
Does your Server 2012 even come with Hyper-V?
IIRC everything does these days ...(hardware permitting)... That's the primary reason I upgraded to Windows 8.1 at the office.