How do I ask apt-get to skip any interactive post-install configuration steps?
apt-get install -y [packagename]
Edit: yes, that was for skipping (well, automating) post-install questions, true - sorry.
There is no way to skip post-install scripts. The official Debian policy is to edit the script to return a non-terminal error, or fix the script. See http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/251
It sounds like you're automating this for many servers, in which case, you'll probably want to make your own version of the package and deploy that. Another option is to email the package maintainer and discuss whether a failure-to-start should be a terminal error for post-install (I don't believe it is for other packages like apache or lighttpd, for example, but I could be wrong.)