Queries with outer join would be executed by scanning the driving table first, which is ought to be the bigger table which is outer joined with the other table. This approach compromises with the performance as Larger table has to scanned and hashed first and then joined to the other tables, contrary to the very nature of Hash joins where smaller tables are hashed and stored in memory and then joined over to the bigger table.
In 10G, there is a new concept HASH JOIN (RIGHT OUTER) --could be seen in execution plan also--which scans the smaller tables first and then join them over to the bigger table. This surely is a welcome change as this plan is quite superior to the earlier execution plans in terms of performance.
But, beware, all your tables involved in joins should have statistics computed for 10g to pick up the new execution plan.