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Is there a widget that would allow me to have, for instance, 9-10 names so I can call them quickly? Maybe 10 icons associated with 10 names/numbers?

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In android you can create a shortcut to do that:

  1. Long press on home screen, a menu will pop up with title "Add to Home";
  2. From there choose "shortcut" -> "Person";
  3. Choose the person you want and then select the default action like call or message. For you it will be call.

You'll see the icon of that person on the home screen upon pressing which will make the call to that person.

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