Well in chatting with a their support I did learn the following, for my situation:
Anchorman is taken by someone else with an email address different to mine (ie @hotmail vs @other - and it isn't my hotmail address either)
However, I have used Anchorman in BFBC2 as a soldier name which also appears in my list of personas on the ea.com profile page.
I also used Anchorman.au for BFBC2, but I cannot use that as an EA ID because of the full stop, disallowed character.
So if you cannot use a name, it might be that someone else has actually registered it. It might be you at an old email address perhaps, but it might not.
If you are mature, preferrably 18+, swing on by our forums and check us out! We are actively recruiting for BF3. We are a team oriented team - members are always willing to help each other out, in and out of game.