Re: What's in a name? sensei, shihan, etc.
I think it's respect and actually shows who doesn't have it. Now and again you will get someone who insists you call them by their name or you have someone who is family or long term friend but all this 'culture change' idea I think is nonsense on the whole. (unless your culture is going down the pan)
Apart from respectful and dutiful Sensei also means teacher doesn't it? So I'm sure if you look at your culture and sports you will find say American Football players calling a certain person 'coach'. (Not Bill or Fred) I doubt any football player over here calls Ferguson 'Alex'.
I'm also interested if some teacher who says 'call me John' gets upset when a respectful student calls him Sensei.
In all walks of life their is still respect and people may say 'yes guv' or 'yes boss' .
Therefor I would say it's that area called respect and even good manners and nothing to do with formality really.