|You've got such great recommendations already. I'll just add:
Saiyuki has a team of four guys
Bus Gamer, three guys
You might also try Angel Sanctuary. It has a love story but imo is more about the male lead and his best friend, although part way through
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
the best friend <changes> and another takes his place.
I tried to think of stories where the leads are both strong and equal. I guess none of these fit your "not cool but later thinks is cool" requirement. Sorry, still all good reads.