The latest emacs 23 is pretty neat, but it noticeably has that splash screen in the beginning. It's generally good practice for an app not to present new users with just a blank screen. There's should be something there to say, 'hey, these are the next steps'.
That said, I've found it annoying, probably because I'm use to it not being there. So I've found that you can turn it off through this comment.
(setq inhibit-splash-screen t)
Just put that in your .emacs file in your home directory, and you're all set. tip~