I guess hell really just means a concept of death. It is standard doctrine that Jesus gives life and that sin robs us of life. So when Jesus speaks about hell as a punishment, he is reiterating the problem that existence without Him is void of life, or in other words, is followed by death. I think the key is to take Christ into your ontology and to examine how this changes your life and your very existence because there are really deep fundamental changes then.
I don't mean that we become nicer or that we are suddenly God's favourite pharisees or something. Just the whole outlook of becoming children of God much like Jesus is the son of God makes such a big difference. Sometimes we must mentally go into atheism or into the systems of another religion to see again what we have in Christ, and in the spiritual things that he gives us and the life principles we follow as christians.
For example, in my family I have a sister which got 50 years old recently and who is pretty much atheistic and agnostic in her beliefs. She is so scared of getting sick and having to die now that she gets older. When she was younger life was fresh and she never thought of death, but now she is starting to sometimes look into that black hole with is death and which annuls much of our life if we see it atheistically.
So what I am saying is that Jesus speaks of this when he speaks of hell. When we advance in life our sins become troublesome later because we cannot cross the gulf between us and those Lazarus'es we sinned against in life, and with our without God most of us are moral and ethical beings with a conscience and so our life's sins trouble us later. But if we have Jesus we can turn to Him, we can think of an afterlife and that we will meet back those we have wronged and we can, in this afterlife, make things good again.
Personally, there were two women in my life that I would love to apologize to and to show how much I care for them and for how much I loved them, but they are lost to me because we separated ways a long time ago and I don't even know about one of them if she is still alive, and we don't speak with each other. The thought that I have is that after death we all go to Heaven and we get thoroughly changed and love is much much easier to find in yourself there and I can speak with these women there and get a hug and a kiss on my cheek and this pain that I feel about it here will end there. I have Jesus, I don't go to hell.
This is not about a literal hell as a place of afterlife punishment, this is about an experience of a hellish kind of life that is followed by spiritual death, without Jesus we die in our sins meaning we can't escape the spiritual death and the fiery consequences that follow them.
But one day hell will be thrown into the lake of fire, and that's it, and all men will be with God and there is universal love and Christ all in all!