Issues with Navigation Menus

I've been playing with menus for an application which is a reimplementation of an existing site.  The existing site has a simple one level menu on the left side.  I want to preserve the left side orientation but enhance it with sub menus.  There is currently no need for a mobile version but if it works for mobile using a responsive theme all the better.

Experiments with IntelliWarp built in menu system

Issue 1 - I always want the first item in my menu to be the site's home page.  I have tried at least 50 times to coerse the menu web block to accept the home page as the first menu item and I can never get it to work.  I have no problem dragging and dropping any other pages.

Issue 2 - There appears to be no way to make that menu appear on the left side instead of on the top.  Ideally, there should be left and right side common areas just like the header and footer.  Even my old FrontPage software does this.  Maybe there's a CSS solution for that?  (I'm not a CSS expert yet.)

Issue 3 - Normally, I would have the first level item not be a link when there are sub-items, it would just be text and clicking on it just shows or hides the sub menu.

Experiments with DynamicMenus component

Issue 1  - I like the look and feel of this component but all the menu items are hardcoded in the preparation.  It needs to read a static table to really work for me.  (If I can find the time I'm willing to work on that.)

Issue 2 - same as with IntelliWarp.  No way to put this vertical menu on all web screens automatically like you can at the top.

Any ideas or assistance for any of this is greatly appreciated.
Hi Curt,

You might want to take a look into to get some ideas.

Tiago Simões
I'll definitely look at that, thanks!