The dot notation discussion has taken far more of my time lately than it was wise for me to spend. I've said pretty much all that I need to say on the topic at this point. I don't care if you use it, just don't tell me I'm wrong for doing so.
Just for the record, I was horribly opposed to Objective-C's dot notation when it first came on the scene. i had programmed in both C++ and Java over the years, but I much preferred Objective-C, and I saw dot notation as being a step backwards and a really bad idea for a number of reasons.
For the book, Dave and I decided we were going to follow Apple's lead when it came to coding style and coding conventions, so I bit the bullet and started using properties for the book exercises. Now that I've used them regularly for about a year and a half, I have completely changed my opinion, and I'm pretty sure a lot of my original issues with dot notation were just rationalizations of my own resistance to change.
Arguing theory has only so much merit. In practice, with a little thought and understanding, properties and dot notation work well and can be used to make code considerably more readable and faster to write. If you haven't spent some real quality time using them - if you are arguing only from language theory - then you need to spend some time with them before you condemn them further.