No, it's not about vanity. If I see two nodes and one is by chromatic and another is by some dumb monk wannabe, I know that chromatic's post is more likely to be relevant. Alternately, if I just prefer how chromatic answers, I may single out his posts that way.
However, some also include a subject in the title if the subject changes. When the discussion veers from the why B-trees are superior to binary trees to forgetting that @_ aliases variables, it's a lot easier to pick that out of the title than to wade through all of the message. However, adding a "synopsis" field to new posts would be overkill, so people just note it in the title.
Adding a name is not vanity. But I do agree that it would be nice to have the author's name show up on a search.
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In reply to (your ad here) Re(2): Automatically add name to replies