Does it seen like a belief in hell as eternal conscious torment is mandatory for Christianity? It seems like that to me.
There are other theories that are within the bounds of evangelical Christianity. There are also some misconceptions about the "traditional view".
Me, I'm a hopeful universalist. I hope that God redeems everyone, but I don't know. I don't think the Bible is crystal clear on the topic.
The idea of hell in contemporary culture is a mashup of Christianity, paganism and pop culture. If you want to get into a hood argument start talking about hell. Just look at the controversy that Rob Bell created with his book " love wins". It drew criticism from the four corners of Christianity. Most people didn't even read the book.
So, here are some misconceptions about hell theories.
Christian universalism isn't pluralism. Pluralism states that Jesus isn't the only path to which we can be saved. For example: a person can be saved if they believe in Muhammed as long as they do earnestly. Christin universalism says that God saves everyone in spite of what they believe. It is not their beliefs that save them (the same way that non universalists believe).
God doesn't send people to hell because he is egotistical and angry that they won't worship him. Let's be clear, people chose hell over God. Hell is a place without God that we choose to go to. It is God that gives us a way out of this. If this type of hell exists (whether eternal or not), it is not a place that God tortures sinners, it is a place where people are in torment because they are separated from the relationship they were made for with their creator.
Annihilationism is a valid option. Annihilationism is the idea that, in hell, people are annihilated, that is, they cease to exist. Even though some church fathers held this view it seems to have fallen out of favor. I am always reminded that the Bible refers to eternal life but doesn't refer to eternal death.
The words to describe hell (Gehenna, Sheol, Hades, etc) don't have to be literal. This is a good article that explains them.