To continue the thought, how do you feel about a person mentioning a book the agent represents--saying something like, "I learned you are the agent for X book, which in a way is similar to mine-"
Advice is given all the time to do this--to go to a bookstore and find books that are "like" yours--find the agent and proceed.
Is this now annoying because people beat it to death?
It's okay. Some agents like it because they know it's not a form query that has been sent out to a million agencies. The rest of us don't really care, but aren't bothered by it, so I would recommend doing it.