I've been using 'nautilus_scripts' the last few years. I set up once and forever "talltermR", "talltermL", "longterm", "nautilus" as well as having installed "natilus-open-terminal".
For instance, to do what benjo
did (as far as having the window on the desktop), I right click, slide over to longterm, click - I have a window the width of the screen but only half it's heidth. The script is executable and placed in ~/.gnome2/nautilus_scripts. The script itself is
# Open Gnome-terminal
exec gnome-terminal --geometry=171x26
I also keep a maximized "gnome-terminal --geometry=195x65" on my taskbar - handy if you want to see /etc or /dev all at once on the same screen.
None of this is as easy as a hot-key, but once done you sure get used to it fast. I've got 8 different predetermined sized at one or two mouse clicks.