With all the character transfers to and from different servers over the last year in Star Wars The old Republic, most of us, myself included, have lost our original names. I remember waiting frantically on the day of launch to hit that create button to ensure that I got the character names that I wanted. Then when they moved us to Australian servers I managed to save those same names. Unfortunately they closed they servers, like they did lots of others, and when I transferred back to my original server my name was already taken up by some alt that never logs in ... ever! And it was not just one name that I wanted to use, seven of my eight name choices were already in use! The only level 55 that I didn't have to re-name was Methos. He was safely at home on the Harbinger the whole time, and being one of my first characters, and on that server, he was able to keep it. I've added all of my names to friends lists to see if anybody else is using them and I never see them log in on Sith or Republic side.
Coming in November, Bioware are releasing all the held names by accounts that are not subscribed. If your character is not in use and you are not a subscriber there is a chance that you will lose your name. To be honest, if you're not playing and haven't played for months then I see no reason why you level one alt should be holding a name you may never use. I guess I will be using my Cartel coins over the next few months to change my names back to what they were when I first started playing once this clean out