As a web designer for nearly 20yrs and marketeer, I use Opera (legacy) to check page rendering as I do with a number of other browsers. I also use it when I have to simultaneously login to various web tools under different accounts. From my perspective over the years, Opera has fought for a small share of a fiercely competitive market. Its hook/angle has been, and rightly so, to offer something different, to be different from the big boys and provide to a niche market, hopefully, with an alternative, attractive browsing experience. However, there is a fine line between being innovative and shooting oneself in the foot by being too predictive & radical thereby offending users and resulting in a 'jump ship' scenario. Firefox has weathered this better than Opera over the years which is reflected in the market disparity between them with 2nd place Firefox achieving 8.2% to Opera's (8th) 1.3% globally.
Regarding the home button issue, I strongly believe the vast majority want one and want one that is easily configurable. This, understandably, changes slightly with age groups as there tends to be increasing pre-teen, teenagers, early 20s that are less bothered by 'changes to the norm'. Since the vast population majority of developed countries is in the 30 to 45 age group, this is where general browsers are targeting. All the main browsers offer a traditional home page with icon button which, at present, does not seem likely to change any time soon. Unless there is a significant change to end user preferences, such as with mobile browsing where Opera has managed to out perform Firefox, Opera may find its niche user numbers dwindling further.