I gotta be honest here: This sucks for the players who are getting merged, and it sucks for those of us who've transferred previously- for whatever reason- and lost our name(s).
Feels like a cash-grab for name-change scrolls.
As for the e-mail alert.... Should've done the wipe and announced it on the boards and in-game after the fact. I have to agree with the people who are legitimately concerned that someone is going to log in once just to reserve a name- in case they ever decide to come back (which at this point seems unlikely in many cases)- and screw the people who are getting force-merged.
I, by the way, am not one of those people. I don't have a HUGE stake in this. I've lost names before in shard transfers, but I've never been in a forced transfer. Seems somehow heartless, and it certainly doesn't feel well-thought out.