Look, these things happen. To do a search the right way, you're going to have to consider people for a while. The candidates have to be comfortable with the situation, feel like it is the right time to step into a bigger role or to get back into the game.
Just because Thad Levine didn't want to interview doesn't mean this job isn't a good one. It's still one of just 30 GM positions out there in baseball. There are other fish in the sea and all that.
Now that I've attempted to (badly) console you, let's look at what's left. Just because one of the few candidates we actually know the Astros are interested in said, "No" doesn't mean there aren't a ton of qualified people standing in line. Guys like:
Andrew Friedman - Come on. Do you really think I was going to write another story about the GM search without mentioning him? I'm pessimistic, not crazy.
Bill Geivett - Hey, we've got someone else confirmed that Houston is interestd in interviewing. The previous link on his name takes you to the MLB Trade Rumors article about him from this summer. I'll try to do that with as many of these guys as I can. Geivett may come from a front office I don't especially love, but you can't argue with how the Rockies have developed players lately.
Plus, there's the sneaky fact that a lot of front office talent has been nutured by the Dan O'Dowd administration before going elsewhere. He picked Troy Tulowitzki and pushed for CarGo in the Holliday deal. Solid place to grow up as a baseball executive and I think he'd be a pretty solid choice.
Logan White - My favorite since the summer. There are so many reasons to like White, but I'm going to highlight just one. One of the things he really researches as a scout is the biomechanical side with pitching delivery in an effort to try and draft healtier arms. Looking at his track record iwth the Dodgers, he's done pretty well. Considering the pitchers he's hit with already, the Astros would do well to use that talent since they'll need all the pitching they can get in the AL West.
A.J. Preller - We don't know if the Astros got permission to interview him too, but it's certainly a good possibility now that Levine turned them down. We do know that Crane is a big fan of that front office, so someone like Preller makes sense.
David Forst - I know, it's a long shot. But, if anyone would make you feel better if the Astros lose out on Friedman and the Rangers dynamic duo, it's Forst. He's been learning from Billy Beane for a while and is pretty well respected inside the game. There are a lot of reasons why he doesn't fit the Astros, mainly because Beane won't be in Oakland forever and he's the heir apparent. Plus, Forst doesn't have as much of a background in player development as the other guys Crane and Postolos seem interested in.
Jeffrey Luhnow - Clack brought him up in the thread on my last article and it's a fantastic suggestion. He's got exactly the kind of attitude towards scouting and data that might appeal to a baseball guy who's also a successful businessman like Crane. Plus, the Cardinals are treading on an uncertain future and he might not have more buzz than coming off a World Series winning team.
There are plenty of other good candidates out there, but I'm cutting this list off here. Suffice it to say the Astros will have options, and they are options you can get excited about. As long as no one mentions Omar Minaya.