There has been something of a controversy about pseudonyms on Google+. This is something I know about, outside of that particular controversy. Interestingly, I have decided in one way what to do that forces me to deal and I think forces others to deal as well.
I have dealt with identity online for just about all of my professional life, which to be technical about it, started around 1984 when had my second internship at Xerox. That's when I got my first email account, learned JCL and first got my hands on a Xerox workstation, the legendary Star. That summer, I opened up the icon on the desktop that said 'Organizations' and I saw Shinjuku. My mind blew. It wasn't long thereafter that I started talking on bitnet, the Xerox corporate internet (CIN), firstname.lastname@example.org and a host of other proto-internets. Naming conventions and pesuds were part of the early netiquette but it was finally my introduction to the Well several years later that took this to an artform.
By the time that I got to the Well, I had been on Prodigy, Compuserv, several fido BBSs, some legendary others not so. My favorite, of course, was Panix. I was accustomed (especially on Compuserv) of not using my name and getting into the sorts of discussions that would generally lead to fistfights face to face. That and a combination of things led me to be specifically provocative by adopting a pseudonym known as Boohab. One of the most interesting things about the Boohab is how I was consciously attempting to be postmodern and wear postmodern gear while actually being a bit less clever and a bit more postmodern than I thought I was. Somebody whose rationale I couldn't completely grasp (and who has since abandoned the Internet) was able to get the highest Google page rank on Boohab by making a bad example of me. The work of Boohab, was something I did not want directly associated with me personally, and that is primarily because I knew it was something that could overshadow everything else about me were I to become as famous as the implications of the work might become.
After the Boohabian project, I wanted to be myself, and found someplace to do so, but later found something more public, blogging, which would push me into the spotlight again. This time, I found a pseud, Cobb, that was closer to me but not fully me. It was just another part of me and still is. Even as Cobb, I have mutated my face and orientation as a blogger, but I've left the pseud intact.
On Facebook, another major departure, I did something fairly unusual, which was to use my full legal name: Michael David Cobb Bowen. The idea wasn't purposefully to have an anchor person but something close to that. I only use my full name and signature on things like being a witness at a wedding or a funeral - the big life and death moments that deserve my full attention. But I'm out there, you see. I've been writing online in public and private spaces for over 20 years. I have changed so many ways, I recognize that any segment of Mellow Mike, or email@example.com or mdcb@well or the me I was at Cafe Utne or Slate's Fray or CafeLosNegroes are all just fragments of the whole person. Nobody could stitch all that together and make sense of it without scholarly infrastructure. And in one way I do hope that I earn the honor and privilege of a biographer or harried researcher, but for the most part I don't expect to be made sense of longitudinally.
So while I sympathize with those who want a pseud, I have come to terms with the fact that a pseud is mostly used as a mask, which is a fragment of a deception. There is indeed a greater truth to be found in the integration of all one's internet writings even if it is not accomplished during your life. There's that, and the fact that we now know who Deep Throat is, and most of our business pales in signficance.
It makes sense for the people at Google to make the strong suggestion for real names. Those who have other than personal issues for wanting to use a pseud would actually be fairly foolish for using Google plus to communicate that which needs communicating in secret. But for those who, like Boohab, just want to avoid fistfights by saying online things they are afraid to say face to face... well, there are other places for that sort of thing and I doubt that G+ is going to replace them.
There is the small problem of being hacked by people who mostly don't care to do you harm, and the real problem of being hacked by people who do. I find it difficult to believe that a pseud on G+ is going to indemnify you from either sort. And while it is certainly possible to anonymize yourself through being clever with security tools and methods, I have a hard time believing that these are the people who are doing the complaining about Google policy.
All that said, I'll leave you with two notes. The first is that if you want to be anonymous, you're probably better off using the name of somebody already famous. Searches for that name will bring back so many hits that your actual use will be buried. The other is The Last ID.