We also would like to see StaticDisplayLevels incorporated into a near future release.
There is a nice work-around mentioned in this post: http://www.telerik.com/community/forums/aspnet/menu/horizontal-menu-from-sitemap.aspx
Set the ShowStartingNode property to false, and the menu will display all 1st level children horizontally. Since I wanted my home page to display in the menu along side the 1st level children, I put a sitemapnode pointing to the home page at the same level as my 1st level children. I then pointed the root node to my login page (the sitemap provider requires a valid URL for all nodes).
Hope this helps!