First, there's three things that govern the size of the Start menu:
-your screen resolution,
-your dpi scaling,
-the display size, (default or large), in PC Settings.
With my screen resolution of 1920X1080, with PC Settings display at default and keeping the dpi under 120%, I can pull the Start menu all the way up to the top of the screen.
Changing the variables changes the menu's abilities.
Then you ask: "how did you get all those spaces on the Start pane";
well, I pinned everything to Start, made everything as large or 'wide', if possible, then made them all 'small'.
It's a little weird, you've got to play with it a lot to get what you want; pin everything, unpin everything, re-size and re-size again, move them around, etc., etc., etc.
Edwin, Can they be stacked like Chuck wants?
See here as well ...
Edwin, looks like you are playing Tetris... LOL.
How did you get a single column?
Last time I tried to do that, I ended up playing Start Screen whack-a-mole (just like in W8).
I eventually gave up.
Is that something that has been fixed in b9879?
I should have read the whole thread before posting.
LOL.. Yes, Hippsie, I know how much you luv 'em tiles - I'm sure they will eventually follow WP8's layout.
I got mine like Edwin's last screenshot.
It's called unbridled arrogance. Of course now, they've managed to even screw that up, by blocking the proper installation of the 3rd party start menu apps, quite possibly the most miserable and cynical act I seen from them since the whole metro fiasco began.
Thanks, HG! I'll check the Feedback App and see if anyone else has done something like that.
Thanks to everyone for your help and suggestions!