1. Anyone know if these are still used much? I remember seeing them a lot about 10 years ago.
2. I tried this in CS5, and when I preview it there is no status bar message when I rollover a hotspot? I am testing in Safari on a Mac.
Mostly, people don't mess with the default status bar messages any more. Since it can be used to hide the real destination of a link, the technique has been used in phishing. It's somewhat of a security problem.
IE9 doesn't seem to handle them them either. I found this page, which indicates that swapping out the status bar message is turned off by default in most newer browsers, which means that the user would have to enable it before any coding you put in would be effective.
It isn't a Fireworks issue. It's a browser security default.