Thanks encyclo. Wish I had seen that other thread when it was still open for comment. Based on hundreds of domain name checks and whois searches each month, it has never happened to me, so I think it's a random conspiracy. I usually at least sleep on names if not wait for a few days to do more searches and re-thinking.
Seriously - with thousands and tens of thousands of new domains registered each day, I'm sure there are millions of domain name whois checks. Some wired-out over-caffienated domain junky could only do this 16 hours a day and spend the other 8 hours trying to sell what he/she registered. Either they missed me by chance or it's just not a huge threat.
Many, many available names that I logged to "check out again later" were registered afterwards, but it was weeks or months later. And, one set of 2 names that occur 250,000 times in Google serps (1st domain) and 150,000 times (2nd domain) are still available weeks after I first heard them in the news. The names are (subword)+(keyword).com such as BigFosh and LittleFish.
Hmmm... I don't recall seeing in that other thread any mention of our whois checks that resulted in domain names registered just the day before? That would be the "back to the future registrar" conspiracy... I do believe in that one being the biggest threat :)
I've heard this a number of times and you should probably act as if it's true. I'm sure not EVERY domain that a whois is done for gets scooped up, but there may well be a manual check done for promising names by someone who's in a position to see the queries.