I think rooting is great as it allows access to Market (including Kindle), turning your NC into a full featured Android tablet and allowing complete customization of your NC. Most key to me is that basic rooting also maintains the well-designed integration of the Nook app as you are presently accustomed to on the non-rooted Nook.
Since rooting, I have also evaluated booting via SD card into rooted Froyo and Honeycomb systems. Although I enjoyed these other systems, you will have to download the Nook app from market (free) to read Nook books. Even though the Market Nook app works well, I found I preferred the integration of the Nook app that BN has programmed into NC much better versus the Nook app obtained via Market with these other systems. One simple example is the display of page numbers on each page of the book on the original NC versus a secondary step that is needed to see the page with the Market Nook app. Consequently, I am now back to using exclusively the original rooted NC. (These comments assume your primary Nook use is still as a reader.)
If you want to keep all that you love but add the Android Market as well as the Amazon App store, GetJar, AppBrain, etc. then make sure root using autonooter. At the moment I suggest you wait until B&N gets the 2.2 update out. There is sure to be (we hope!) an autonooter for it. Last autonooter was out only a few days after the last minor update so hopefully the wait won't be too long.
If you root in other ways such as changing the OS to Gingerbread, Honeycomb or any of the other variations out there you won't keep the B&N stuff that you obviously love.
If you want to try other another OS, you can always boot them from an sdcard, that way nothing happens to your stock NC or to your autonootered NC.
I'm fairly tech savvy and pretty sure I can complete the process but, I need someone to tell me that rooting will not change what I already have and that it will retain books I have purchased elsewhere and the access to the library.
I rooted with autonooter and still have everything from before, including checked out library books.
if you use the autonooter 3.0.0 it will retain everything. just burn it to an SD card and follow all the instructions to the T. dont know why a T, but that is irrelevant. it will retain your downloaded books/magazines. it will also maintain the shop so that you can get more books and magazines. this will keep you stock but with market access. the link is here. if you have anymore questions dont hesitate to ask. and if you are worried about screwing up, which you might, i mean i did, twice. the NC is impossible to brick ie render useless. but for piece of mind do this.
1. download monster root back and make a CWM recovery SD card from here. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=922870 also be sure to add the uninstallCWM.zip file.
2. dont use the root method this is just to create a backup of your stock unrooted firmware. burn the CWM to a sdcard. turn off your nook color and insert the card. then boot it up. it will book into CWM. go to back ups and back up your nook color. now you have a backup. then go to install zip from sdcard and select zip. choose the uninstallCWM.zip.
3. now download the autonooter from here http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=942424 and burn to an sdcard. follow the steps and make sure that you reformat the card once it has rebooted and you should be good to go. now if things dont work out/you dont like the rooted stock. you can always go back to your unrooted stock. thank you back up. just load up your CMW sdcard and choose restore instead of back up. use your backup and it will restore it back to pristine condition. then choose uninstallCWM.zip and you are back in business. well which ever business you are in. hope this helps.
Rooting is completely legal, but it might void your warranty. Grey area here but keep in mind that it might.
So far and thank goodness, B&N does not have the arrogance of Steve Job who thinks that his products are perfect the way they are and that rooting (or jailbreaking in the case of Apple products) is illegal. The Feds set him straight on that. Although I believe that the majority of NC owners do not root, it was the dev community that gave the NC the market push that it needed. Without the devs I doubt that the NC would have gotten the attention that it has. B&N has everything to lose and nothing to gain by making the NC unrootable.
As far as the update, many of us, myself included, are taking a "wait and see" approach. We know that the update will be to Android 2.2 and will include Flash support. We know there will be some new apps, probably both paid and free. We know it's scheduled to be pushed very soon. Anything else is speculation. I rooted using autonooter 3.0 and am very happy, I have access to the Android Market as well as other markets. I've got my NC working the way I want. I would like Flash and some changes to the stock firmware but we'll see what happens.
I'm planning to keep WiFi off starting possibly tomorrow until the update is a done deal. Then I'll see what's up - the good, the bad, the ugly. Depending on what the devs come up with, I may go back to stock and root using a new autonooter when it comes out. I can't imagine going back to not having market access, but I can't imagine not having the stock stuff either.
Thanks everyone. This has been a very helpfull discussion. I think I will root my NC (and feel confident in doing so) but, will wait until after the new update.
I just finished rooting my NC. Most things seems to be working OK, except a number of apps in the marketplace won't work (Nook Reader, Facebook, Google Maps, Youtube, etc). I continue to get a "Your device is not compatible with this item" bar at the top of the screen and I cannot download the app from Android Mrketplace. What gives? Anyone know the fix?
BTW - I installed CM7 version 7.0.2. I originally tried version 7.0.3, but I didn't get android marketplace. The recommended fix was to use 7.0.2, which I did.
Thanks for the help!
I would go back to 7.0.3 and try to find the gapps.apk which will install market and gmail for you. I could email it to you if you want to private message me with an email address and instructions to install it.