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with ISO-8859-1 works fine for me with Opera 9.00 (Linux), it should be the same for you. Have you tried specifically defining ISO-8859-1 in Opera? (Go to View > Encoding and change "Automatic selection" to Western/ISO-8859-1)?
Also, how are you defining the charset? A meta element or via a HTTP header?
on further investigation it is showing in place of several special characters...
including ½ and ¾
<update> i've reinstalled opera again and the problem has gone
as a note i have another site using the same special characters (eg £ € and the various fractions) and they were showing correctly, it was only on the one site that they weren't showing.
but as i say i've reinstalled opera and the problem has gone!
... thanks for your input guys.