There are enough possible variations on html-entity encoding techniques to at least make it more difficult for bots. Munging techniques I've used on my websites recently have been very effective.
I don't see the problem in incorporating this technology into the board to maximise functionality.. I shouldn't really have to make my own workarounds. I want to use email, not the private message function. The public email field is provided therefore it should be provided fully with all the functionality that an email field nowadays entails.
I'm just asking for a feature I think is relevant to this day and age.. not for suggestions on how to get around its absence. I can handle that part myself.