"Hide buddy list at startup" doesn't work when Pidgin launches at system startup. Is this possible? BTW, it does work so long as I don't shutdown or restart the system.
I use 64-bit Ubuntu Jaunty with Compiz. I'm not sure if anything else would be relevant.
Do you have any other plugins installed like the Buddy List Options plugin?
There may be a plugin that is trying to grab the buddy list at the same time.