Originally Posted by kenmaude
fair warning though, I lost all of my apps and all settings were reset.
This is par for the course, except in some very specific circumstances:
- you are going from stock to a very-close-to-stock ROM, such as xtrSENSE, Evil Eris, Plain Jane, or CondemnedSoul's 666th Sense. You generally should wipe Dalvik, but you can usually get away with not wiping data and be all set. (Note: xtrROM is *not* one of these ROMs - you need to wipe data/factory reset when you install this ROM, unless ...)
- usually (though not always) you can upgrade from one version of a ROM to another with just a Dalvik cache wipe.
We all who know this should apologize for not making this very clear to people rooting their phone for the first time.