So... I just figured out that I can click on the picture instead of the name, if I want to go directly to a profile of a person from their discussion post. In light of that, I now like that I can go either to their profile, or their list of discussion items all from one discussion item. I guess we can chalk that up to learning curve.
Still... I think because of twitter and wikipedia, when I see a name or a phrase as a link, I expect it to be the most basic information about the words in the link. When it isn't and I follow it, I feel misled and frustrated. I think it would work better if the name and the picture led to that person's profile, and there was a link somewhere near/in the discussion post that was something like: View All Discussion Activity.