As an example, commenter Other John pointed us to the system that our sister paper, The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, uses: pilotonline.com.
It looks like the site allows comments on all local stories posted, and uses a registration system for comments.
Look like you can register with whatever name you choose.
Some other features include: being able to report comments for violations; allowing responses to other comments; creating nests within a thread; and the “thumbs up/thumbs down” button. You can also “hide” comments by specific users, sort by thread or by date posted.
We have some questions out to the Pilot folks to get a little more detail as to how registration works and how the comments are moderated.
Check it out (click on the image for a larger view) and let us know what you think.