I may be hijacking this thread now but I've got the exact same issue. Every time I launch Opera it hangs for 30 - 60 sec on the first page it's trying to open. After this it works fine. However, sometimes it crashes to desktop as I try to close a page / shut down the browser. There's definitely an issue or two as it comes to loading as well as leaving a web site.
Version:36.0.2130.75 - Opera is up to date
Update stream: Stable
System: Windows Vista 64-bit (WoW64)
It's not a standalone installation since it's been upgraded several times (for several years). I might try a totally indepedent installation.