Especially the convenience of not having to remember IP-addresses for your machines is worth the work to set this up. With DHCP you might not even get the same IP for every machine every time.
For this to work, I asked a question over at the Linux & Unix StackExchange. So parts of this blog entry are taken from there.
First, you might want to install avahi on your RasPi;
sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon
This should help with the Pi being resolvable by name from other machines -- which also have to support mDNS. For example Macs will come with mDNS-lookup enabled. So you should be able to ping your Pi just by using its name plus the local-domain:
Next, you want to install the client side name service support for mDNS:
sudo apt-get install libnss-mdns
Make sure that the /etc/nsswitch.conf contains this line:
hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
There is probably already a line starting with "hosts:", which you can simple comment out with the #-sign.
For added convenience, you may want to add the sshd to the advertised services of avahi. Simply add a file /etc/avahi/services/ssh.service containing the following lines:
<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?><!--*-nxml-*--> <!DOCTYPE service-group SYSTEM "avahi-service.dtd"> <service-group> <name replace-wildcards="yes">%h</name> <service> <type>_ssh._tcp</type> <port>22</port> </service> </service-group>
This should let you use mDNS on you Pi, see the advertised services on you other machines in the local network. If you are using Plex Media Server (see this great post), it will also utilize avahi to advertise its services.