Every so often someone requests that another meta post be added to the permanently featured spot on the front page. This is then declined because there would then be less space for hot meta posts, which it is important to show to attract plenty of discussion.
Would it be a useful compromise to have a single featured meta post that acts as an index to all the posts we would like new users to see? This would replace the sandbox on the featured pane, so no space would be lost.
I'm imagining it linking to the sandbox and vital FAQs, but keeping the list of links short to improve the chances of new users seeing the most important ones.
Ideally the title would be something short that makes it immediately obvious that it is aimed at new users, and isn't something to ignore before posting questions or answers.