Researching domain names on the web is often frustrating because all the good names that are in your mind have already been taken. There are however tools that you help you brainstorm new ideas for domain names and you may sometimes strike gold.
The IANA maintains a complete list of top-level domains (like .am for Armenia or .be for Belgium) that you may consider registering in case the usual .com and .org addresses for your domain are not available.
It's obviously not easy for anyone to search through dozens of domain extensions manually so a tool like iWantMyName should help. With a single click, iWantMyName lets you check the availability of a domain name against most of the international domains* from one place.
Another excellent tool for researching domains is Domai.nr. Give it any word and Domai.nr will suggest some really creative domain names around that word.
For instance, if you are looking for a domain like "awesome", Domai.nr will check the availability of generic domains (like awesome.com) as well as unconventional domains like aweso.me, aws.me, aw.sm, etc. which also make lot of sense in case the original one is not available.
You may also use characters from Arabic, Hindi and other non-Latin scripts when searching for domains on both Domai.nr and iWantMyName.
Wolfram Alpha, the versatile and intelligent search engine, is also a pretty handy tool for discovering clever domain names on your own.
For instance, if you are looking to book a .in domain, you can use a query like words ending with in to determine all the proper English words that can go with the .in extension. Similarly, a query like words containing news will find English words that contain the letter news thus helping you find more variants of the domain name that you may have in mind.
Finally, you should also check out Domize – it may look like any other domain search tool but Domize is actually quite powerful under the hood.
Domize lets you search domains in bulk and that too in a very interesting manner. You can say [parrots,pigeons,crows] in one query and it will find the domain availability for all these words separately but in one go. Or you can frame a query with a set of words like [red,blue][balls,berries] and Domize will check the availability for all the various combinations like redballs, redberries, blueballs, etc.
Domains expire after some time and if the current owner chooses not to renew them, they are released in the open market for others to grab. You can use a tool like Domain Monitor to track the status of one or more domains and the service will send you instant email alerts as soon as the status /whois information of any of these domains is changed.
Also see: Precautions before buying Web Domains
[*] Some of these country-level domain extensions can only registered by citizens of that country and hence may not be available to you.