During my I-have-no-future-as-a-writer despair yesterday, I recalled something my friend B. (he of "your detectives are dumb" fame) said, namely, that I had given a too-obviously evil name to the main villain. What he didn't know is that I picked the villain's surname more or less randomly from a frozen food product.
I recall reading many years ago Kurt Vonnegut saying that he found the names for his characters from the phone book. That's more or less what I do too, though I also look at book jackets. Because my novel takes place mostly in L.A., I gave it some polyglot texture -- some Hispanics, a couple of Asians, one Iranian. I try not to get all politically correct about it or anything, but I don't want everyone to have a WASPy name. Not everyone's last name can be Cavendish or Wilson or whatever.
So -- how do you choose your characters' names? Do you try to assign them names with a symbolic purpose or something that sounds cool or are you just tossing darts at the phone book?