In fact you need the # (hashtag) for non HTML5 browsers.
Otherwise they will just do an HTTP call to the server at the mentioned href. The # is an old browser shortcircuit which doesn't fire the request, which allows many js frameworks to build their own clientside rerouting on top of that.
You can use
$locationProvider.html5Mode(true) to tell angular to use HTML5 strategy if available.
Here the list of browser that support HTML5 strategy: http://caniuse.com/#feat=history
~ Answered on 2013-01-14 14:36:01