In the File > New dialog check out »Background Contents«.
It only means I have to create a new layer and import an image to that.
Why don’t you open that image in the first place?
It's a legacy/compatibility thing.
You can eliminate these auto-magically by:
1. Select File>Scripts>Script Events Manager...
2. Make sure "Enable Events to Run Scripts/Actions" is checked in the upper left of the dialog
3. Select "Open Document" from Photoshop Event pop-up
4. Select "Open as Layer" from the Script pop-up.
5. Click the [Add] button in the right-hand coumn.
6. Click the [Done] button in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog.
Ah, I had read inattentively and mistaken »every new document« to refer to newly created documents.
Thanks. I'm cured.
The only new problem is, by following Tranberry's advice, each document I open (new or old) becomes altered by this action. Thus, upon closing each document, I'm required to save it or not as an altered document. I can't just close the documents anymore without the "do you want to save" window opening. I still wish Adobe would eliminate the automatic locking of layer one.
Even if we eliminated background layers, we'd be changing the file structure (and compatibility with older versions and 3rd party software) and would require a file save in that case as well. We've thought about it, but have punted for making this the default given the requirements for legacy/3rd party compatibility.
Yes eliminating the "Photoshop Background Layer" would surly brake many things. As it is there are more thing broken now then we need.