Plus, I don't think the totem is something you can simply conjure at will. It serves as a reminder that you're in a dream, but you can't just make it appear at will.
If they were always in a dream throughout the entire movie, then the totems they made were made within a dream as well.
There's no externally valid way to distinguish whether anything that happened was a dream or reality. Who's to say that everything Dom experienced wasn't inception planted by somebody else? E
Either the ending was a joke and Nolan is mean (which he probably is
) or that's the true point of the movie. The ending does give it away. It's a reality or a dream depending solely on what you want it to be.