We have latest posts, or most commented posts, or even popular posts plugin – which all provide easy widget. Just drag and drop and wushhh.. those list now on your main page sidebar.
After a small modification requested by a client, I have an idea of publishing the favourite (favorite?) posts plugin. It will allow you to select your favourite posts to be highlighted on the main page. They will be sitting until you remove them. Yes, sticky posts I can say in forum-based language.