The solution to this problem: install a door viewer. Apparently, "door viewer" has fewer negative connotations than "peep hole" and is thus the preferred name for such things. Since this modification involves drilling a half-inch diameter hole through my front door (which is composed of aluminum and foam) I decided that I should (a) be careful and (b) match the finish of the rest of the door hardware. I also chose to (c) install the thing at a "standard" height that most people can use instead of where I'd prefer it to be.
So, I bought something very similar to this:
They look pretty horrible when they're not actually installed in a door. But as it turns out, once you install the thing it looks decent. Installation was pretty quick and painless, too. Literally all you have to do is measure, drill, and then screw the thing into the hole.
UPDATE: Several other apartments in my building have requested the Maintenance folks to install one of these in their doors. From walking around, it looks to me as if all the ones installed by the complex are Stainless Steel (which does not match the Satin Nickel door hardware) but are otherwise identical to mine. The two varieties even cost the same from Home Depot. Mine is better!