I do think the names are more significant, and you are probably correct to pick up on that. Here is a post I made on another site, before registering for this one:
Outside of the top in the final scene, the movie as film is designed to make one question the nature of Cobb's reality. Freud and Jung theorized that the subconscious incorporates myths and basic symbols to help the individual come to terms with reality and one's experiences in it (that was probably a bit of a butchering, but that's not important atm). Now, if one were in a coma for the rest of one's life, and assuming one would dream in that state, the subconscious could theoretically use this same process to help the mind come to terms with unreality. When we apply this to Cobb and the film, many elements seem outside the realm of reasonable coincidence for Cobb's reality to not be a layer. Look at the names of the characters. In Greek mythology, Ariadne aided Theseus in navigating the minotaur's labyrinth. In the film, she serves a similar purpose by helping Cobb navigate his own internal conflicts, albeit in a relatively perverse way on the meta level. In English folklore, Arthur is the invincible, sleeping king who united the people of England. In the film, Arthur is a dream agent with incredible martial prowess. He literally unites the characters in his attempt to provide them with a kick. Eames appears to be a union of Charles and Ray Eames, who were significant in the progression of what is now considered modern, functional art. They were architects, designers, etc. In the film, Eames is a forger with a penchant for reaching beyond convention in a way that is useful to the characters. The possibility that his character is a union of two individuals would help explain his ambiguous sexuality. Mal is latin for evil/bad. In the film, she is presumably evil, as she persistently disrupts Cobb's missions and challenges the reality that he is more inclined to accept. I'm not sure who Saito is a reference to, but I think he is likely to be an aggregate of Japanese figures (I will mention the interesting tidbit that a Saito coined and researched the term hikikomori, which is a term for a type of modern recluse in Japan). In Arthurian legend (uh-oh, we already have an Arthurian figure...layer within a layer within a layer), the Fisher king was charged with keeping the holy grail, which Galahad and Perceval searched for. His kingdom is also suffering because of an injury he received earlier in life. In the film, Fischer is the mission that contains Cobb's catharsis...his holy grail, if you will. Fischer also appeared to have been psychologically wounded by his father and was unable to direct his corporation in that state. These names appear to have been purposefully chosen by Nolan in a way that extends their significance beyond the simple allusions directors are fond of making. It challenges the nature of Cobb's allies and foes by suggesting that just like a film is the dream of a given director, Cobb's supposed reality is a dream state, populated by individuals whose names and functions are drawn from something above the narrative itself, such as myths and symbols that are significant to the meta-conscious.
As an addendum, Saito is probably a reference to the powerful warlord from Japan's Sengoku period. The biblical Yusuf is the Muslim version of Joseph and is a prophet/interpreter of dreams. Thanks, dan and arina, for catching the connection between Cobb in two of Nolan's films and the alternative meaning of Mal.