When I first learned French, I came across the adverb guère used in negation to mean "hardly", "barely", or other similar words. Recently, while reviewing negation in French, I came across information that suggests that ne ... guère is rarely used anymore. For example, a user on a forum on WordReference said the following:
[This is one of the] old negative forms that French used to be more precise about the negation. Now they are mostly literary.
I know realize why my high school French teacher seemed surprised when I once used ne ... guère when talking to her.
If ne ... guère is no longer used in casual conversation, what would be the most suitable alternative? The most common term I have seen that seems equivalent in meaning is ... à peine, but a sentence like
Je vais à peine au bureau de poste maintenant.
seems a bit confusing to me because most of the negations I have studied in French are easily identifiable with the adverb ne (though I am aware of ne explétif where this is not the case). Is this phenomenon (adverbs with a negative sense, yet used without ne in negative sentences) common in French, or is it only in certain cases where awkward literary forms have been replaced?