For WBD the Independent had a feature on 100 favourite fictional characters. An excellent choice, which I wouldn't have thought of, is the Muskrat from Moomintroll. The Muskrat is a philosopher who feigns indifference to world concerns, while in fact being greedy and lazy. My kind of guy.
By the way - do you think there is a dearth of vivid characters in SF? temeres wonders whether female characters in SF (books and other media) are less complex and interesting than male characters. iainjcoleman wonders whether that is because female actors are selected on more restrictive criteria than male actors.