While I generally try to emulate Tufte's style (his motto is "Don't get it original, get it right") I have been guilty of overuse of bullet points in the past.
Michael Buschmohle deftly makes his point for numbered lists by using a numbered list:
In school we didn't learn to bullet, we learned to count. Numbering items in lists is more natural most of the time
Scott Zetlan sums up this topic wonderfully:
Bullets are conclusions. They don't introduce new information, they summarize previously discussed points. Thus bullet text is a poor medium for delivering a presentation, the bulk of which is alleged to be new information for the participants.
Reading this dicussion, it's clear that bullet points do have a role to play, but the should be avoided in general. The typical Power Point use of bullet points is nothing short of bullet point abuse.
- Use bullet points sparingly
- Numbered lists are usually better because they give everything a name
- Bullets should be used for conclusions or to show data the audience already knows.