Wayne... if you have the free time, and ever go down the smart phone path again, xda-developers.com will be your best friend. My understanding of the T-Bolt is it was the most locked down HTC phone to ever exist, and only recently did rooting it become a reality.
Some comments on your downsides to rooting:
- If you root, lack of OTA updates - how can this not be a good thing? Sometimes you can choose to not accept these craptasic updates, but others will just install themselves with no warning at any time... potentially screwing your setup and apps that Verizon has chosen to break.
- Rooting breaks warranty - yes, yes it can. HOWEVER, for every root access process out there, someone almost always creates a "return to stock" option for returning the phone/device back to the mothership. If your phone is easily "bricked", then I'd be concerned.
- Miss OS updates - that's not really an issue, is it? You may miss the "latest" release by a month or two, but surely a group like Cyanogenmod is porting OS 2.3 to this? Update: CM7.1 (Android OS 2.3 - gingerbread) has been ported to the T-Bolt.
I dunno, maybe it's just me. But. If I buy ANY piece of kit (phone/computer/toaster/microwave), I expect to be able to do with it whatever I please... but most especially it must work for its primary function. If the company that sold it under that premise cannot deliver, and running a community built OS solves the problem, then the corporation can kiss my hind end. Especially if you're forking out gobs of cash! Me? They'll pry my SERO sprint account from my cold dead hands... I'm keeping that plan for life.