I have a SharePoint 2010 team site that I didn't want to use the "Wiki Home Page" option and didn't want to turn on publishing. I simply wanted to change the default home page URL from http://site/default.aspx to http://site/pages/home.aspx. (This home page uses a tabbed interface for an app-like feeling.)
I found this post which provided the Powershell to make the change:
$w = get-spweb http://yoursite
$r = $w.RootFolder
$r.WelcomePage = "Pages/Home.aspx"
It worked beautifully! Now, when using the breadcrumbs, or the Site Name as a link back to the home page of the site, it always goes to this home page.