The issue of married women taking their husband's names tends to provoke lots of commentary among women. Your name -- whether it's your own or your husband's may not affect your life in any kind of material sense but the symbolism is awfully powerful.
As the child of feminist-thinking parents, I made my decision when I was seven or eight. I remember examining an invitation addressed to my mother as "Mrs. John Doe." I couldn't for the life of me understand why they were addressing my mother with my father's name so my mother patiently explained to me the conventions and etiquette regarding women's names. At the end of it all, I asked with all the tactlessness of a young child, "Isn't it humiliating to not even have your own name?" My mother paused for a long time but I'm glad she told me the truth: "Yes."
Whenever the subject came up, I adamantly insisted in the face of patronizing chuckles that I would keep my own name upon marriage. But when the time came, my fiance (now my husband) asked me to take his name. He thought it would help us feel more "like a family." And I gave his request serious consideration. I was head over heels in love, I wanted to please him, and it was only a name after all. Besides his name is cool -- short, sweet, easy to spell and distinguished-sounding. No awkward ethinic vowels spilling out all over the place like mine. And he really wanted it.
But when it came right down to it, I couldn't do it. I literally couldn't even imagine myself going through life under someone else's name, no matter how wonderful that person might be. Eight years later and happily married, I am so very glad that I didn't cave. My husband and I feel just as much a tightly bonded family as we would otherwise -- and our differing names help to convey to people right off the bat that I will not in any way, shape, or form, under any circumstances, accept a subordinate position based on my sex. This refusal to compromise my feminism is a key aspect of my core identity. In more ways than one, I wouldn't be me anymore if I had changed my name.
Yeah, I have heard all the counter-arguments. One guy at my job pointed out that I am still known by a man's name -- my father's. But as I mentioned in the comments thread on Alice's post on this subject, it is my name as much as it is my father's. I may have gotten the name from my father, and that fact may be a product of patriarchal traditions, but it's still MY name because it's how I as an individual have been known all my life.
This naming issue is only one of a myriad of issues that women have to agonize and fret over in order to ensure their own equality. I don't fault a woman who chooses to compromise on the name issue, but it is a compromise and a highly symbolic one at that.