I do agree with Scott that having that be a configurable option might not be a bad idea for a future release, @wumpus. Especially for boards that, say, hack out avatars and replace 'em with name-text (oh God, what I wouldn't pay @stusser or someone to make a Qt3 theme that replaced avatars--aside from the ones beside our usernames at the top-left of posts--with usernames, instead), reducing the visual clutter of the extra tags.
I mean, don't get me wrong, I can see why it's off by default. But a more tweakable forum isn't necessarily a bad thing! :)