I have GW1 but never really got into it. It just didn't do it for me, and I got caught up in playing WoW at the time. I never got any of the GW1 expansions either. In the FAQ released yesterday, there is a section about reserving character names.
"However, your original Guild Wars character names will be reserved for your use in Guild Wars 2. The Hall of Monuments in Guild Wars 2 recognizes the accomplishments commemorated by your original Guild Wars characters and provides you with unique rewards to showcase those achievements."
The hall of monuments is only available to those who got the eyes of the north expansion, however the first sentence there doesn't say specifically that your original GW character name will be reserved ONLY if you have eyes of the north.
Second, I don't remember seeing this anywhere so forgive me if it's already been answered but do we get a first and last name like we had in GW1? I'm assuming so since we had both, and if we do, are first names exclusive to only one account or can more than one person have the same first name as long as you have a different last name? For example say I have a toon called Jon Mcfly, can my friend create a toon called Jon Doe or will he get an error saying that name is already taken?
The reason I ask the second question is in case you need eyes of the north on your GW1 account in order to reserve your character name.