It was only after getting a warning with the following message:
Only one additional @user can be notified; the post owner will always be notified
that I realized using the
@ syntax actually had any effect other than being a "standard" from Twitter and such. It would therefore be nice if typing
@ into a comment first gave you auto-complete (with most weight to the people already involved in the discussion), and next actually made
@name into a link when the comment was rendered.
I guess this is a feature that isn't meant to be discovered by accident (like I did), so it would be nice if it was advertised like I'm suggesting above so people use it more consciously.