This is indeed an extremely useful feature. In fact it is not so much a question of convenience but much more about all the new users (likely unaware of proper markdown rules) that use parens for their enumerations, probably due to different cultural standards.
One of the biggest advantages of markdown is that it is so intuitive and that text written properly structured in its raw form usually works right out of the box when processed by markdown. It really happens very often that posts from new users with enumeration lists require an edit to be properly formatted simply because they used parens instead of dots. Implementing this alternative markdown syntax would thus highly reduce the necessity to reformat every feeled 2nd enumeration list.
Also note, that the recently developed CommonMark standard seems to support paren-style enumeration, too. But while there are existing requests for implementing this here, the possiblity and time frame of this implementation are still rather vague and implementing this extended enumeration style should be easier and faster than that (like the recently introduced possibility to start lists at numbers other than 1).