There is a simple rule about character transfer - if you transfer a char. whose name is already taken on destination server, you have to rename it. But after this transfer issue, people on destination servers playing for a long time are also forced to rename char names, and this isnt a solution.
That is the perception of what happened, but it isn't the reality, as many people have also discovered.
Example, you play on The Harbinger since launch. The consolidation happens, you are now on The Harbinger, and you have to rename. This is the perception issue. The server shares the same name, but it is not in fact the same original server, it is a new server, it just shares the name.
Frustrating? Very, because it was not a wise decision from the people who did the implementation. Ambiguity is not a good thing anywhere except a transvestite talent show.
I, like yourself, had to deal with similar issues when my characters were all shoehorned to the new server. I got extremely lucky and one of my original names became mine again (since I used it all through beta and launch that made me happy), but the overall anger people are feeling is not entirely unwarranted. Poor communication, poor implementation, and as the most recent patch has shown, either very poor testing and/or ignoring the bug reports from the people who were testing it, which lead to a pile of broken stuff that sets us back over 2 patches in some cases.
On the plus side, it's almost impossible to not find someone to help with a difficult mission in less than ten minutes now.