It took me a few minutes to track this down.
Google lets you store phone numbers in pretty much any format, and it honors your choice (doesn't normalize).
US phone numbers formatted as xxx-yyy-zzzz do not show up as candidates for sending text messages.
Various other formats do.
probably lots of others
I've already gone through my phonebook and fixed up my phone numbers, but accepting xxx-yyy-zzzz might help some other poor souls in the future.
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