See also My Views.
This is better than My Views as you can have different standard views for different profiles.
However, My Views can work for custom objects - but you can easily create your own page layouts for custom objects.
My Views will remember the last view used, Standard Tab will always override to the set tab.
Note: Some people like having the recent list on their tab - it provides more information than the sidebar widget. Don't use either of these apps for those people.