I think both the last two hands are somewhat weird if empty-handed. I am planning to use a lot of empty-handed characters so hands that are just hanging relaxed are also fine with me. It really depends on where and how the character is used. The pose is difficult, I agree. I think the human female is very good in that she can be made to appear relaxed but when the legs are visible you will see that here knees are not ‘locked’ so that she is appears prepared for something.
It’s difficult to describe poses but also difficult to think about better poses without actually seeing them and comparing. I don’t dare to give you any advice on it as I think your doing a really good job already.
As I said – I think a relaxed pose with arms hanging is just fine. Like when people are standing at the corner of a street. But two other multifunctional poses come to mind – they might be too radical and I’m not sure if they can be made to work empty-handed:
1. Almost like the last one but with one hand 15cm from the body, the other hanging. Might need to change legs position to appear more natural. This would allow the character to carry long items on one shoulder (something like this: http://images.sugarscape.com/userfiles/image/JUNE2011/Lozbomb/TheThreeMusketeers1.jpg ) and it would allow the character to lean forward on a sword, axe or just a plain walking stick (a bit like this but one-handed): http://ozarkscivilwar.org/photographs/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Zagonyi-Charles-30649.jpg .
2. Like the last dwarf but the hand is at the side of the body – not in front of the belly. Could again be used to lean on stuff (like this but closer to the body: http://brinawilliamson.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/2011-standing-dwarf-warrior.jpg ).
Not sure if these two poses work at all empty handed and if there is a suitable natural position for the legs (besides walking). Hanging arms are just fine too 🙂