I am pregnant with my first baby and don't know the sex yet. I like semi unusual names - but not in spelling cause I don't want the child always having to spell their name (if we can get away with that). We have had no issues picking the name for the girl Charlie Ruth Hollis (Ruth being a family name).
But the boy name has been a HUGE issue. I don't want a common name like Jack, we had picked Jake, but then it was taken from us by a friend. We semi liked Lucas, but drifted away from it and are now thinking Kahn. The middle name will be Johnstone (my last name) and Hollis as the last name.
I love name you can give a nickname for, but so far all the names I like Landon, Hunter, Jett and Dominic have been vetoed by my partner because they sound "gay" (don't ask, I am working on his issues).
I guess I am scared Kahn is more of a last name and also might sound too un-western?? But then I think the last name Hollis is perfect for a nickname and I might just start calling him Hollis if it ends up being a boy.
I think Kahn has the very spelling issues you're trying to avoid, but to me an even bigger issue is that I immediately think of the oft-parodied scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan where Captain Kirk yells "KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!" I'm not even a Trekkie type and it comes instantly and amusingly to mind.
If you initially chose Jake and would still like to choose it, I suggest doing so. Names are not one-time-use items, and a friend's use of the name doesn't mean you can't also use it. On the other hand, Jacob (frequently nicknamed Jake) is the most popular boy name in the United States right now, so you might be disappointed with its commonness.
I think the name Wyatt might be a good choice for you. Wyatt Johnstone Hollis.
Or perhaps Zachary, which gives you the nickname Zach/Zack: Zachary Johnstone Hollis.
Or Keegan: Keegan Johnstone Hollis.
Or Lincoln, with the cute nickname Linc/Link: Lincoln Johnstone Hollis.
Or Beckett (Beck): Beckett Johnstone Hollis.