1) Abby from NCIS. She has supplanted Gilly from Dork Tower as my favorite goth. Bright, intelligent, clever, and funny. I went with the back shot because people could still identify her but it was a little less obvious than a head shot.
2) Arle Nadja, the magic user from the Puyo Pop game series, my favorite puzzle game. Confident and capable. And Amite can eat a bag of dicks.
3) Bugs Bunny. 'Nuff said.
4) Sailor Jupiter. Admittedly, this is a little more swank than she is supposed to be. If you really pay attention to the anime, her clothes are very practical and there is not a lot of variety, especially compared to the others. But I've always liked how she was strong without going tsundere.
5) Adrian Monk. One of the greatest crime fiction creations ever. There has to be a balance -- the detective has to be sharp enough, you can believe they'll solve the crime. But make them too smart, and they'll solve it before the story gets rolling. Monk balances this by using his awareness as a double-edged sword. He has an astonishing array of phobias (he claims approximately 312), and they hold him back. Monk can be funny, but you don't laugh at him for being a loser, you laugh with him in sympathy, that he is so hemmed in by the very thing that makes him so formidable.
6) Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion. I HATED NGE. But somehow, the character of Asuka resonated with me. At first, I thought she was an arrogant asshole. But as the series progressed, she became a profoundly tragic figure to me and the one I sympathized with most. Of all the characters who met horrible ends, hers' was the only one that really hit me.
7) Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files. One part Harry Potter, one part Jim Rockford. Dresden is a regular guy who happens to be a wizard doing his damnedest to keep darkness at bay. Changes depressed me because I thought it was over. Jim Butcher says it's actually only the halfway point. Man, what is going to happen to him next?
8) Kinomoto Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura, probably my favorite anime and, along with Sailor Moon, the reason shoujo is my favorite anime genre. I'll take Honey And Clover over Death Note any day. CCS is also the only anime that I paid $30 a disc for and felt it was worth every penny when it was done.
9) Athena Asamiya from King Of Fighters. Athena is bright, bubbly, and confident. So what is she doing in a fighting tournament? She's running interference for her boyfriend, who only thinks he can fight. The idea is, if he faces her, she can defeat him without killing him. She has an advantage -- she just happens to be a direct descendant of the goddess Athena. A great fun character. You can tell a lot about game players by whether they choose Athena or Mai Shiranui. Very different characters, very different depictions.
10) Brisco County Jr., a great underrated TV show starring The Man Himself, Bruce Campbell. Total cool.