Yet another - oversimplified way is to use something like copytrans contacts
- this Windows tool, which is still in beta, allows two-way transfer of contact entries between iOS devices and PC (Outlook, Windows Contacts, etc).
The program allows exchange of contacts via drag-drop from/to the main program window to/from the PC/iPhone:
If you are using the program to export contact entries from the iPhone to the PC, you will be asked in what format to export the contacts:
The down-side is that it is not a sync, but rather a manual drag/drop - exchange of contact entries. You would need to keep track of new contacts created on your Outlook, so that you can drag/drop the entries the next time you run copytrans contacts and connect your iPhone to your PC.
As a final note, I would say the method above bypasses the complexity of Exchange sync you wish to avoid, for the sake of the simplicity of manual contacts transfer.