Just to clarify, the help file means that $hget(table,N).data is not an efficient way of getting the item's data compared to $hget(table,item)
. That's because the former has to go through the items one by one internally whereas the latter jumps directly to "item" (this is due to how hash tables work - see wikipedia's entry
on this for more).
$hget(table,N).item is the same as $hget().data in terms of efficiency: it too has to go through the items. So using $hget(table,$hget(table,N).item) is no more efficient than $hget(table,N).data - in fact it is slightly slower due to the extra $hget().
As implied before in this thread, you do need to go through items without knowing their names, so the fast way of accessing the hash table ($hget(table,item)) is not applicable here: one has to use either .item or .data.