I'm not a BJ player, so to say, yet. However, ratholing is NOT cheating. The casinos will slowly but surely use every method they can to prevent AP at a game they KNOW is beatable (even if the legality of it is questionable), so we should do the same. As an advantage player at other games, I know that ratholing may be the ONLY way to even get fair comps, let alone ones I don't deserve. IMHO, they have more tools and technology than I do, so it's on them to keep track of what I'm doing. If they don't, they must consider this an acceptable loss. Maybe there are some casinos out there that are crazy-generous with comps, but there are also some where I've spent 8 straight hours at the craps table and haven't been able to get a $5 meal comp for the deli, so all is fair in love and war.
Now, this is not to say that I will criticize anyone for choosing NOT to rathole... but I think it's an area that is left up to personal preferrence.