Sorry @linuxmint7, I'm used to running an older Opera I guess. I also run Opera in Mint, and in Mint 17, we have Opera 12.16, where the F2 key still works to open a new window.
@migorr, the "FocusAddressbar" unfortunately doesn't open a new tab, but F8 is cool.
Regarding the "Shortkeys" extension, it does work, I just had to exit and restart Opera. I just made a new keyboard shortcut so I can press the 'g' key to open a new tab with one key press. It's beautiful, and such a time saver.