Originally Posted by scary alien
Yeah, you should be able to follow one of the above rooting methods... None of these involve installing a custom recovery or re-flashing any of the boot images.
The rooting methods above basically have you soft-boot (i.e., in memory) the unsecured boot image so that you can remount /system in read/write mode to allow the root binaries (su and Superuser.apk) to be installed on your phone.
After that, you'll have root and can use TiBu to restore your apps!
Does that help and/or make sense?
edit: the stuff in post #2 re. ClockworkMod custom recovery is still under construcution at this point and isn't necessary for rooting. I'll add a little disclaimer in that post
Yes, that is most helpful! Thank you. My primary concern is to not disqualify myself from the direct updates from Google. As long as I can unlock and root without needing the custom recovery, I don't care about flashing ROMs, etc. I wasn't sure if adding the su binary or superuser.apk would mess with google updates for some reason, but it sounds like it won't.
Thanks for putting all the time into this thread. It's a great resource!