One of the things that we often get feedback on is our markup. It's a custom, hacked on subset of markdown which has had, shall we say, issues. Today we made some important changes to how we deal with our markdown so we can do things like bold and italicize things willy nilly and deal with links with parentheses without bleeding all over the place.
Exciting, I know.
Basically, you should be able to properly nest markup as well as escape symbols such as * with a backlash (\). The changes we made should also allow us to more easily add more formatting options.