There is a lot to be said about name recognition. I have always used my real name on everything, even twitter, and it's still exciting when someone lands on my website after Googling my name.
People have short attention spans and have to see a name or a title repeatedly before they buy. When a name is practically everywhere, it does generate sales. You can use any name so long as you use it consistently to build name recognition. I have books in several genre and always write under the same name. Sometimes readers will buy my crime, earthquake or Carson series after they read the Highlander Series just because they like the way I write. At least that's what they say. :o)
If you use a sign in name like "always drunk" you might hit the equally drunk crowd, but if you are a serious writer, that sort of name can do you in. Point is, choose carefully and choose looking toward the future.
One of my favorite authors has taken a pen name and she actually publishes both names on some of her books as if they were written by a co-team. That way she keeps both sets of fans coming to her new books.
I'm planning to try my first/second initial, last name on the next series but it will still tie back to my author page, etc. We'll see how it works.
I use different pen names for things that 'feel' different. People expect a certain type of book from [i]Jeanette Raleigh[/i],,,
I know of an author doing the same thing. It's a good idea because then you get the name recognition cross genre. As far as exotic pen names, sometimes i read some of these author names and think to myself yep! completely fake...and then i just avoid the book all together. I know as a writer I should think that way, but I guess there's just something about a goofy pen name that just turns me off from a book. Guess it has to do with the stuff that I write. I'm more slice of life drama writer so it would make sense that I look for names that seem like they could be real world and not something out of a softcore adult film.