Obviously one of the things that this site encourages is the building up of reputation which is a reflection of how the community perceives you. However, after spending a while in any given tag, you can't help but get familiar with people by their SO user name and interpret their input accordingly. This is especially the case with comments: you have to click-through to the user's home page as their rep is not immediately visible.
Hence it's pretty confusing when certain users keep changing their names:
- Is that someone who I have learnt to respect?
- Is that trollish behaviour, or has the user made a genuine error/comunication problem?
- Do I give this user the benefit of any doubt?
I must say that I find this is particularly the case on meta. I'm not suggesting that user-names should be permanently locked but perhaps there could be a limit to how often a name could be changed (e.g. no more than once per quarter year).