I have IDEA 8.1 for the Mac (OsX 10.5.6) and I cannot get it to show the project view. Without the project view I can't see ANYTHING. It had been working fine for a while, and once in a while it will go back to working, but mostly it doesn't work. I have screenshots of the problem...keep on reading!
Here's a project called Merchantize8 that I actually created in IDEA 8.1 while it was still working for me. If I open it in my old IDEA 7.0.4 (also for the Mac) it looks exactly as I expect it: http://cli.gs/jYAd1S (screenshot). The Project View is open by default, and if I ever were to lose the project view, I can always open it from the 'Window' menu item.
Here is what happens when I open the same project in IDEA 8.1: http://cli.gs/R2svUJ (screenshot). It comes up completely blank, and with no access to the Project View.
Your help is appreciated!