I've been reading a little about merged mining as used in Bitcoin and Namecoin.
It seems like merged mining effectively eliminated Namecoin-only mining pools, right? Since Namecoin-only pools are mostly 'out-mined' by the Bitcoin merged mining pools, it seems pointless to start one.
In this case, I had a concern about the incentives of Bitcoin merged-miners to verify Namecoin blocks (i.e. check Namecoin transactions, name updates, etc.). So my question is: Do Bitcoin merged-miners verify the Namecoin block before starting to mine on the merged block? I assume they do.
I suppose if they don't verify the Namecoin part, they save some computation-time but they stand to lose the Namecoin reward, which is not that high anyway. Is the saved computation time ever worth losing the Namecoin block reward?