well if they did it that way,its the only one ive heard of...generally if your moving to a new server, you have to change...not the guy already there.
Well, like I said, they only did it with mergers, since you didn't have a choice about it. Actually, I can't remember how they handled it with transfers, but I think if the name you had was being held by somebody else on an account that hadn't been active in a very long time (say 6 months), your character name would take priority. Could be wrong on that, though.
Honestly, that's the only thing that makes sense to me. Screw the player who hasn't played in a long time and will probably never come back. Why does he get to keep an awesome name?