This is a horrible user experence. Our users have come to know the red astrick as a required field, event with a value of "None" defaulting still causes our users some confusions and slows down their process. Please FIX THIS!!!
lol, in all seriousness though, the only viable workaround was to send any 'incorrect' picklist choices to the decision function and sending them to an error screen...extremely inelegant but all I could come up with.