This may be an old topic, but as nothing has been done to explain or resolve the problem, perhaps it's time somone from the Opera development team actually looked at it?
I can see no logical reason to force a side bar on the start page (or any page). It's been a year, and despite many people looking for this option, nothing at all has been done about it. Poor responses, like 'you can disable it' doesn't really help. You can't disable it. If I could I would. You can, 'un-pin' it, but it's still there on startup. Opera is going the completely wrong way with it's loyal users here. We raise an issue, a response of 'you can't' doesn't really make sense. Who are you making this browser for? Yourselves or everyone? I thought Opera operated in a 'better way' than other browsers, I liked the smaller development team, and the fact it's a great browser. What is being done to it at the moment is nothing short of graffiti, and not everyone loves it. I think we are at least owed an explanation of the logic behind 'forcing' a side bar on the user base. It's not a little issue, it's a biggie. Not everyone has the luxury of 'spare' screen space for this kind of thing. An option to remove it should be incredibly simple to implement, so there must be another reason to force it on us all? I guess it could be a case of 'make them have it, then they'll start using it', well trust me in that is not the case for many users of Opera. Trust me, generally people react badly to being forced to use things. Note how popular Microsoft is at the moment? Is that what the Opera development team are about now? It would be a shame if Opera got swept up in the 'abuse the user base for profit' class of developers. If that's the case, fine, thanks for the previous browsers and I'll go else where. If that is not the case, then please, Opera, explain your actions.