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I stole a part of our character creation process from another system, though I can't remember its name.
Basically: after character creation; each player tell about an event that was important in shaping the character, the event must be at least 3 years old, but can be older.
Then players take turns telling how their character knows the character on the left. Changing the character's defining event is not allowed, but anything that fits within the campaign outline is allowed and the player on your left must now fit it into his/her story.
It gives us a group that actually works together, as well as give the game master several clues on how to involve the characters. We've even had campaigns where this process decided the entire story and everything became about the players - which was,honestly, awesome :-)