Original post by: cityzen ,
First, I'd try to diagnose the home button a little. If you hold multimeter probes to the button contacts, does the meter register any continuity when you press the home button? If so, then the switch itself works, and you need to try and clean the contacts. Otherwise, you can get a replacement front panel pretty cheaply (not including the LCD). Short of that, though, you might try just lifting the front panel up just enough to touch the mating contact points with a metal object to short them together (ie, this should electrically be the same as pushing the button). If you look at step 3 of any of the guides, you should see the two gold squares between the fingers of the left hand; those are the button's mating contact points.