Why doesn't the View Contours dialog box come up when executing the command?
Most likely the Style Lock is toggled on (Tools>Locks>Style). The Style locks affects two groups of commands: the View Surface commands, and the Annotate Cross Section command. When the Style lock is on and you activate a View Surface command, the dialog box for the command will not be displayed, but rather your surface data will be displayed in the graphics file without any further input from you. The Style lock bypasses the dialog box and displays the active surface, automatically determining what symbology to use.