This Feministing post talks about how 70% of American women think wives should take their husbands' names and 50% think it should be a legal obligation. I was surprised to read that the law has intervened in cases where the husband wanted to take the wife's last name, where the parents wanted to give their child the mother's last name, and even where the parents wanted the child to have a hyphenated last name.
While I'm not sure I trust these numbers, I have been surprised how the people I went to school with who get married take their husband's last name. My one friend explained to me that she thought it was a nice way to express her love. I'm not sure how I feel about this--it would be if she told me she thought staying home with the kids would be a nice way to express her love. While it is nice that she loves her spouse so much, I would hope that she considers more than just her desire to please him when making such a decision. Especially since changing one's name often has more permanent effects than exiting the workforce for one to n years, it is a pretty big sacrifice to take someone else's last name.
Maybe in second grade I thought for two minutes it might be cool to be Mrs. So-and-So, but the idea of changing my name doesn't make too much sense to me anymore. Also, while I see how deciding on a single name (rather than a hyphenated name) for the children in a family might make their lives easier, in this day and age the choice of propagating the man's name seems fairly arbitrary.