I guess the reason Debian folk feel so strongly about it is that it actually has technical merits rather than aesthetic or philosophical ones.
When you push out a new RPM package, there is a single file source package that won't conflict with the old package in the archive. Debian source packages generally come as three files: one representing the pristine source, one representing the packaging, and one holding metadata. If you push two package versions to the archive built from the same pristine source, then they will share the first of those files.
This is generally a good thing, since it reduces the size of the archive and reduces the traffic needed to mirror the archive. It would cause problems if you published packages for a release candidate and final version using the same value in the "upstream version" part of the package version number.
Now even though these technical considerations don't affect you, hopefully you'll consider using it in cases where it makes the package version numbers easier to understand.