I suppose my contribution to this thread will be my phone manner for leaving messages, in the hope that you fine folks can propagate it around to the delight of message takers everywhere. Having spent a great deal of time in my business taking and making calls, I found a method that works quite nicely. Quite simply:
"Hello, this is Virg (from company if business). This message is for (target). My number is XXXX. (message, message, message). Again, my number is XXXX. I'll talk to you when you call."
Now, it seems quite ridiculous to leave my number with people I know well, but even though my mother knows my phone number she's identified a nearly unintelligible message (bad connection) just by the pattern, and my friends all delight in never having to look up my number to return a call. It also helps when you're nervous about talking to a machine, since you can just parrot it off and hang up, with the message "call me back."
Now if only I could get callers to do this. I can't tell you how many times I'll get messages like, "Virg, I got the information you wanted. Call me back(click)." Since the caller is male I can narrow it down to about fifty people I spoke to in the last few days, but having anything more would sure be nice.