I had a similar problem with Opera in SuSE 8.2. After an upgrade, I started having problems. Opera wouldn't start on the first attempt; usually started on the second attempt. Opera, for some reason, didn't keep the preferences and ini intact. They'd revert to the default installation options. I eventually made backup copies of those files, as setup a small script to copy the backups to the working files.
Then I upgraded Opera to 8.0 for SuSE 9.2 (from the SuSE repository). Problems went away. I don't know if the problems was with SuSE or Opera, but it's gone now.