For nearly two years now I've been using various hacks to remove the useless left navigation bar from iGoogle. I'm currently at an impass and can't turn it off; none of the Chrome extensions I can find work. Even Frugal iGoogle, a recent and well designed extension, fails.
The underlying problem is changing page layout. My last workaround broke when I was put in an experimental iGoogle layout littered with icons. Deleting cookies fixed that but iGoogle still redirects itself to the URL http://www.google.com/ig#t_0. The left nav is now implemented in a table element, of all things, with a class of GL-BX4-BFS. That seems to be new.
The real problem is the iGoogle design itself. There's at least 4 Chrome extensions to remove the left gutter. It's a small nuisance but a regular one for a default start page.