But at that point, it would seem that the View Model isn't exactly independent of the view if you're defining presentation properties specifically for the view.

Right now, I have a property "UserEngaged:bool" and based on that property, I want to change the background color of my view, hide and show some elements, and change the foreground of some other elements...ValueConverters converting from bool to the right types. Making those into properties would mean coding up specifically for the views and user controls that I am using, which I feel defeats the purpose of the design pattern.