Whenever I launch the stock Android browser (my phone's running Gingerbread), it loads the last visited page. If the last page was a 'heavy' one and I'm on a mobile connection, it can often slow down browser start. Is there any way to prevent the browser from doing this?
You can close all the pages via Menu -> Windows before exiting the browser.
If you want the last page to stay loaded and not reload, you have to make sure the browser isn't killed or forced to give up memory by Android. In other words, use only lightweight apps or don't use anything, and hope your system behaves :P
You may want to consider using an app such as Bookmark Home. This creates a type of launcher for bookmarks, similar to Chrome's New Tab homepage or Opera's speed dial. You can import your bookmarks from the browser. This is probably the closest you can get to loading a default home page like Google Search, as opposed to loading the last page - it just has that one extra step.