You can create as many different home pages as necessary for your users. Each user can have access to multiple home pages based on which ones you give them access to as members of a group. Each home page that a user has access to is listed on their Home Pages menu.
Portal panes are the building blocks of a home page and contain specific content (information) that you define. This content is, in one way or another, beneficial to a user's job performance. Examples of portal pane content are links to upcoming appointments or helpful web sites, shortcuts to create new contacts, claims, tasks.