I was pleasantly surprised that my post The Future of Personalized Start Pages get Dugg last week. Looking through the comments, most of the Digg readers liked Netvibes or Google's start page. btw Google is still promoting its start page on the google.com page, which I think is significant (not many other people do though, judging by the lack of Techmeme action on that subject).
On business models for start pages, the Postbubble blog floated the concept of "consolidation" as a means to rise above the standard advertising-supported model:
"An example of this would be to consolidate industry-specific news, market data, competitive intelligence, email, and even collaboration tools in such a way that it would appeal to companies interested as a corporate start page. You could even make it specific to the sales group, marketing group, or R&D.")
A business portal was one of the things I mentioned in my post as an option for start pages, so I like Postbubble's thinking there.