I agree that this is annoying. A simple one-touch solution is what we're all used to.
I've found that the fastest approach in the stock browser is to select the options menu (upper right corner of screen), then select WINDOWS, and close each one (clicking on the small "x" next to each open window). After closing all open windows, the browser will return to your home page.
The ability to do this is one of the more requested changes for the next update. Now that B&N has addressed the app store and some reader-related problems, hopefully they will put some more effort into the auxiliary features of the NC.
An alternative method to Golfer76's is to open the options menu and then select New Window. Anytime you open a new window, it opens with your home page.
If you don't want to open a new window, open the options window, select Bookmarks, then select your home page (presuming you've bookmarked your home page).
Truely amazing these idiots didn't include home page. Where have they been the last 20 years Mars.
Speaking of time travel, you're responding to a thread that's been dead for 3 years in the NOOK Color group, a device that has been unavailable for well over a year. If you've been plugging along on it for this long without noticing the lack of a home browser button, you can try another browser or load CyanogenMod on it to get additional browser options.