There a great article here on the crisis in Domain names. Finding a good free domain name is pretty difficult now as if the good one’s aren’t gone, someone is holding on to them. Add to the mix the suffix variations and you either wind up buying 8 variation of the name or just hope noone copies your branding.
I know someone who’s local suffix registration lapsed, but their whole business is web based. they retain the .com – but someone else went ahead and registered the local suffix and now they are stuck. Mention buying a domain off anyone and they think megabucks – so beware letting names lapse. There’s also no point setting up a .co.uk if someone else already has the .com – you will drive your traffic elsewhere.