I was going to reply but that thread has been closed.
Anyway, I have 2 ecrater stores as well as many others here do to. Yes, its free and yes you can use you same name. If your store was nanny then your URL would be nanny.ecrater.com
What some of us do is use our domain we have registered and FW it to our ecrater store.
Donna is very helpful with ecrater info as well as BTPS but you'll have to go to the ecrater boards to find BTPS:
Ecrater is good because they feed your items into froogle for you. I know others are doing well with it but I haven't done so well so I'm actually brancing out into my very own website.
For something like that I would contact Kathy at www.KWKDesigns.com she's does great work and I'm glad to have her by my side