While there are numerous sites which offer the ability to create your own start/homepage, if you are looking for a homepage which is fast and just has the basics (i.e. a search box and links to frequently visited sites), then check out HomePage Maker.
Using this tool, you can set to display cool glass thumbnails of your favorite websites and give them a display name.
You can add up to 18 custom links and also displays links favicon if found. The dropdown selection offers 16 popular sites and also gives you the option to add custom url.
You may set it so that the links open in a new window and also opt to display logos.
You can also display a color or an image for background.
Not only can you customize the font but also the size and the colors!
Want a search box displayed on your home page? Choose from Bing, Google and Yahoo and set it to display either above or below the website thumbnails.
HomePage Maker is a free portable application and creates your custom homepage as a file on your local computer (which makes it load really fast). Simply create the page and then set your browser to use the local page as your start page.
This is something I definitely plan on giving a try as I can really see myself using a tool like this.