I know some people (like this writer) struggle to name their characters, but personally, I've never had that problem. I wait until the character comes to me with his name; sometimes, I don't even like their names (Margaret, Simon, Philip), but I like them in the end because they have become fused with their name. Naming, for me, is a very intuitive, relaxed business. It has less to do with hunting down The Perfect Name and just letting character and name emerge organically in my mind. I am a very intuitive writer. Sorry I can't be more concrete here.
My husband is reading The Grand Sophy (again! because, it's amazing! duh.), and we were cheerfully discussing the fact that the author, in a fit of genius, managed to cast Sophy perfectly. She is deliberately stated as not being beautiful. Striking, but not beautiful, certainly not in the social beauty of the time. There are things too large about her, or not the right colour, not delicate enough, etc. And yet, as you read the book, you get the impression that Sophy is gorgeous. Why? Because she has charisma. She's got a dull little name (sorry to anyone named "Sophy," it's not bad, just not outrageously memorable), she's not physically beautiful, but you remember her because she's a force of nature. The name isn't what carries her off, it's Sophy herself - in all her grandeur and glory.
Stop freaking out about the name, okay? Yeah, sometimes it takes a little bit for the name to surface, but the whole world doesn't hinge upon it. It's an amateur move to have your character's interest hang solely on his name. The name can mean something, that's absolutely fine, but the character himself has to matter for the name to matter.
Okay, generalizations over. I love coming up with names, personally. I don't write contemporary fiction so I'm not stuck with otherwise dull, everyday names. I get to play with names like Dammerung and Aven-maz and Pan Aeneas and Mordecai Halfharemoon. They just taste so good when you say them, don't they? They sizzle and pop like soda. This is where I enjoy the naming process. I haven't tied my own shoelaces together with mental anguish, so I'm not tripping over myself when these characters emerge from my imagination. Typically, they come with names; if not, I let my mind hover over the surface of the deep until it draws out the name I need. (Again, NOT a lot of help in a writing workshop, I know, I know.)
This is one part THIS IS WHAT YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T DO and another part THIS IS WHAT I DO and some other part THIS IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT, and now the hinder part of this is going to be WHAT DO YOU DO? What is it like for you to come up with character names? What are some of your favourites? Spill the beans!