The best replacement for hyphens is dashes.

The best alternatives to hyphens are rated as following:
★★★★★  dashes
★★★★  underscores
★★★★  commas
★★★  underscores in urls
★  parentheses
★  underscores css
★  underscores urls
  underscores for urls

Your alternative for hyphens is not listed? Suggest!
Speaking about hyphens, one probably shouldn't forget about numbers.

Other search terms related to hyphens and their ratings are:

★★★★★ numbers
★★★ ages
★★★ age
★★ compound adjectives
★★ compound modifiers
★★ prefixes
compound nouns
written numbers
You have in mind a companion for hyphens and it is not yet here? Propose!

Google Trends

Scale is based on the average worldwide traffic of hyphens in all years. Click on graph for more.