I also like the name Sophia, but I find it too popular where I live to use it. Perhaps if he is certain on Sophia, you could spell it Sofia? It's a little less popular than the Sophia spelling. If not, how about some of these names?
Saffron (I love the nn Saffie)
Florence (nn Flo)
What about Sophie as a compromise? Its just as pretty as Sophia but not as popular. I do also love the idea of Sophia as a middle name.
I think Sophia is gorgeous! Popular-yes, but well deserved. I love the name Zosia, maybe an option? It's a variant of Sophia. Or Sofi?
Anna is also a favorite name of mine. Anna Sophia is darling.
Trying to combine more your style with sounds he likes:
Instead of Aliya, maybe: Amaya, Eliza, Ivy, Alice
Instead of Madeline, maybe: Lila, Moriah, Molly (I love Rosemary nn Molly!)
Instead of Chloe, maybe: Phoebe, Georgia, Rose, Willow, Sadie
Instead of Abigail, maybe: Hazel, Laurel
Instead of Brianna, maybe: Fiona, Sabrina, Julianna
And some extras:
Ooh, I love Molly as a nn for Rosemary--hadn't thought of that!
I tried Alice, but that was a no-go with DH.
Some lovely other options here, though!
I think Sophia is beautiful despite her popularity. Have you thought of having Sophia as a middle name? Sophia could be a lovely middle name choice and a great compromise. I think Sophia as a middle name is really refreshing. Out of all the names I think Anna, Caroline, Clara, Helena, Rosemary and Madeline are gorgeous choices. If you were going to have Sophia as a potential middle name I would go with...
What does he like about Sophia? Is it the sound of Sophia? The popularity? The fact that it's a well known Greek name?
Despite the suggestions I think you should compromise with Sophia as a middle name.
Other names with the lovely 'ph' sound which your husband might like:
~ Josephine / Josephina
Good luck! :)
I'm with him -- I am so in love with Sophia!! I hate that it's popular, but I think I would use it anyway because it's just so beautiful, classic, and storied.
That said, these are the only names that came to mind as suggestions. Sorry if they've all been suggested:
Zora (can also be spelled Zorah; thought it might sound good with the "o" sound in your last name and has a similar feel to Sophia)
Silvia/Sylvia (I prefer it with the i; seems simpler and prettier)
Hope this helps -- good luck!