I can't debate point by point, as I tried it and my long comment was cut off. So this is my 2nd attempt.
Proteins, unlike carbs and fats, cannot be stored by the body. Proteins have to be broken down into amino acids in order to be absorbed by the intestinal cells. In the end, you lose weight with protein because you do not absorb the total calories- some are absorbed and some are eliminated.
Water weight loss in the first week is not "downplayed" at all. Dukan explains it in the book. Water loss is not a hidden scam, it's science.
Phase one is 5 days - eggs, seafood, lean meats, fat free dairy. If you focus on what you can eat - instead of what you can't- the options can definitely carry you 5 days. Easy? Not for everyone, but doable - and the progress on the scale is a motivator. First 2-3 days you may be tired (carb withdrawal), but cravings decrease and energy increases after 2-3 days. I suggest committing to two days to start - and almost all people decide to keep going.
Phase 2, you are adding in veg every other day. Stir-frys, salads..get creative. And you eat as much as you want. You are not hungry.
You say: "Since giving up after a few weeks I'm doing my own lower-carb diet where I eat a lot of protein and hardly any bread or pasta because of this appetite effect and this is working just as well as Dukan. I'm dropping a pound a week on average, don't feel hungry, few cravings and don't feel ill like on Dukan."
On Dukan you'd be losing 2 lbs a week - double your progress- and you don't have as much hunger or cravings because you aren't eating carbs. But the success of Dukan is that in later phases it trains your body to accept/balance carbs without relying on them for fuel or making you hungry. When YOU stop your low carb diet and start eating carbs again, you will gain the weight back. Dukan changes how your body reacts to food and is a long term solution.
Sorry, but your review sounds like you're making yourself feel better by finding fault with the diet.
I suggest people get an unbiased review at HowStuffWorks.com and read Marshall Brain's review and experience. http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/04/21
Forgot to mention: This diet wascreated in France for the French. Their food tastes are different. No matter, you take the ingredients allowed and you put together combinations and things you like. I used a few Dukan recipes such as the vinaigrette, but I never relied on any of his recipes - i didn't even use the oat bran. The diet still worked. I am 49 and I did not think anything would help me at this age. Do your own research and don't let others half-hearted attempts make you think you can't do it. Learn what it is, understand it, then tailor it for yourself.