Redwoodfey, you have a bunch that sit just right for me! Asher, Oliver and Evander used to be on our list.
Others I had heard, but hadn't considered, that I really like are Fenris, Theon, Caspian and Evander. I love the nickname Cas/Cass but had trouble separating it from Castiel (Supernatural was a guilty pleasure show of ours for awhile!).
Caspar / Casper has been growing on me. While I like them objectively, my association has always been the friendly ghost since I loved the movie as a kid! It feels like a much fainter association now, though, and I love that it's out of the top 1000 yet still so familiar.
I'm glad you think Anders would work for Alsander, and I love it from Leander as well (Lysander is another option for us).
Thanks for the thoughts on nicknames. I think I shouldn't worry about something like Nolan (even though that particular name isn't a good surname fit), it would be something like Cass or Noel that would hit my sore spot ("what's it short for?"). I think Theon would be borderline for that as well, but I do love it (minus the Theon Greyjoy association).
I have an "un-nickname-able" name and I didn't mind it. But I have a personal hatred of nicknames, so maybe I'm just weird.
What about Asher nn Ash? Or Leander nn Lee? Evan, Benjamin, Cuyler nn Kai?
I have a very similar style! You've received so many great suggestions so far so I apologize if I repeat any... Ashton, Everet, Rowan, Roman, Liam, Emrys, Elliot, Ellis, Shane, Shae/Shay, Grey, Niles, Julian, Weston, Willem, Ewen, Harrison, Henry...
^^ not too rough AT ALL! Thanks for the list.
Everyone has had varied experiences with nicknames (myself included, of course). Just like everyone else, I know plenty of people with and without nicknames, or nicknames from varied sources, people who love having them and people who've been Katherine their whole life and will cut you if you try to pull Katie on them!
My personal preference is for nicknamable names, in that they don't sound like nicknames already, but we have plenty of exceptions on our list for both genders (Lev and Ezri are my go-to examples from our list).
It's interesting how what feels like an offhand meaningless comment in the prompt post can become the topic of the thread ;) the primary issue with Nolan is that it doesn't work with our surname, AND it has no logical nickname that does work with our surname. If Nolan worked with our surname the nickname issue would be moot.