I could make a little variant of the name by replacing an entire word. But a survey I did tells me that people prefer a little bit the first name (not the variant).
So, do you think I making a mistake if I decide to use the first name anyway (instead of the variant)?
In my experience, a hefty chunk will always type in ".com" by default if they're directly visiting your site.
That said, naming a startup isn't that important to your success. For most sites, direct traffic accounts for a tiny percentage of overall traffic. Most of your customers will find you through Google, mentions on other sites, or your ads.
I'd recommend using LeanDomainSearch to find a .com that is available.