I think the point of the game is to have fun, and if a particular sort of name helps you have fun, that's the sort of name you should use.
And I think it is difficult for me to judge a name as not being "serious" because I've seen real people with names that most folks I've experienced insisting only serious names be used wouldn't approve of. So I just don't bother trying to figure out whether a character's name is supposed to be serious or not.
I have mixed feelings about it. I don't consider D&D to be super-duper serious, but I also don't like constant, in-your-face humor. Rary is fine because I can ignore the epithet. Gleep Wurp, not so much. Ripping a name straight out of a book (Aragorn) kinda sucks, but hacking it a bit (Eregon -- this happened before that book series was written, okay) is fine, even if everyone knows from whence it came.
I've allowed archers named Bosomethingorother, shortened to "Bo". But, I nixed a WoD character who was a psychiatrist name Luna Sae (the player didn't even realize what she'd done, but I couldn't unsee it).
I guess that my answer is "I prefer reasonably serious, but not pretentious, names. I would, however, probably be more comfortable in a group of 'awesome' namers than in a group of self-absorbed method actors/wannabe authors."
I voted that you lost me at Fonkin Hoddyspeak. But I'm not one to take the game too seriously. The more subtle a pun name, the better, but they have to be really in your face (or really dumb, like Gleep Wurp) to really get me to roll my eyes.
I have mixed feelings too. I don't really like names that are obvious jokes or that deliberately break the fourth wall. I was in a group once where some of the players named their characters after other players in the group. It was funny at first but it quickly got confusing.
When I DM, I tell my players to pick a name from the list of examples for their chosen race or come up with something that sounds similar. I don't mind if a name ends up being a little jokey - especially since there's always that one player in the group that'll come up with a jokey nickname for your seriously-named character anyway - but I still think context matters. For instance, I once had a PC named "Holly Berry", but she was a forest gnome, so it makes sense, right? Gnomes are known for their silly names.
I like names that say something about the character which typically means a play on words which can sometimes be silly. Generic fantasy names tell me nothing and are easily forgotten. I try to go with names that people will remember and that sum up my character in a word or two. It is generally my characters that are remembered by the other members of the group week to week. Others are usually forgotten or are reduced to a nickname.
Alright, I voted "Awesome names are awesome," because they are.
However, not all names that aspire to awesomeness ever actually get there. It is entirely possible to try too hard.
As for my own characters, I have been all over the place in the range of complexity from simple names to ones that "sound like a fantasy name" to ones that "I could never pronounce that in a hundred years." I eschew umlauts, but I do include "ae," "oe," and "ue" spellings when appropriate.
Sometimes I get carried away.
Gnomes are supposed to love having lots of names, right? How about, "Gildan Elroy Hyssop Winesong Imphfinning PoDandu TaVanish LaTortoise?" (He could call himself "Gilroy" by making a portmanteau of his first two names; but some in the party might call him "Gilderoy," and that would be detrimental to the seriousness of the game. )
On the other hand, a human named "Buxton Burfield Sedgwick Thredony Hartnell Smallege Rudgwort Ridgeway Rounser" would clearly be a case of trying too hard.
I'm still designing a putative elf bard, retired from adventuring, who is currently named "Aeonas Aubano," which is supposed to conjure up reminiscences of Aesop and Leonidas and Oberon, but I still think that looks a bit stilted. (Needs more work?) At least I didn't name him "Ubbniyart Mibbnade," but I did type that moniker in while I was designing him. . . .
None of those names strike me as "awesome" and I'd be largely annoyed to have to address another character, in-character, as any of them. I agree that D&D can vary in its level of seriousness and joke names have their place...usually on NPCs that are encountered once or twice to lighten the mood...but not on players who essentially force the party to deal with their name on a very regular basis.
Doesn't mean your dwarf can't be Thurgill Thunderfist. Or your elf can'y be Seela Treerunner or your gnome Hoppil Hydrospanner. But that's sort of the point IMO of surnames, "titles" and middle names. Give your character a reasonable first name that we may address them by in informal party conversation and then feel free to go crazy with the middle name, last-name or title. As long as Thurgill Nancy Thunderfist the Orcslammer can be referred to as "Thurgill" I'm fine.
I enjoy "awesome" names, as long as they're organic to the character. I've played a halfling barbarian who went by "The Mighty Bucket!" because he wore a bucket on his head (long story) and whose given name was Flibbe Nuppkin. And a half-elf named Donnelvonnin Vonneldovvin, shortened to "Donnie Vee".
I've gamed with characters like the seductive dwarf sorceress named Sweet Velveeta and the half-orc Thuggon Baccoff.
They're memorable and distinctive. And if they fit the character concept they're not all that distracting.
As DM I've used NPCs like Louie Louie and Monie Monie the town guards, and their captain, Ringo. The players became invested in them, giving them personalities and risking themselves on the guards' behalf. In the end my group insisted I give LL, MM, and Cap'n Ringo happy endings, so beloved had they become.