It's not unusual for people on the inside of a company to be totally blind to what's perfectly obvious to people on the outside.
I don't mean to speak for him but I think Brett is being harsh because he's a long-time user and he cares.
So do I.
There's always been *something* holding Opera back.
Lately, because of my interest in web typography and @font-face font linking, I have been mercilessly but caringly critical on my blog about Opera's continued botching of @font-face support which, with 10.5 Beta, has unfortunately regressed yet again. As a little bit of fun, I am offering a $100 gift card for Andreas Bovens if the developers get it right on the next release. If not, the developers get a set of steak knives as a consolation prize.
I know it sounds moronically simple, but as a name for a product - especially a desktop browser - "Opera" just plain sucks. It has held you back and will continue to hold you back.
I know it's emotionally difficult (and expensive) to move to another name but perhaps a company-wide name change is not necessary.
Just like Microsoft uses it's company name as a prefix for everything it offers - Microsoft Word, Microsoft this, Microsoft that - perhaps you could re-launch as the Opera "New Chosen Name" browser. I know it's corny, but you could ask the web development community to suggest names. People love that kind of stuff, even web geeks.
Get a fresh start. Keep a link with the past, but move beyond it.
That's the best advice I can give you - FWIW.
And good luck.
- "Readable" Richard Fink aka poppyrich