Thanks for all the work you put into this....
I'm new to Android and just got a Hero a couple weeks ago so I'm searching all the forums (and other Android sites) for useful tips. After reading your post I feel better informed about Linux, Android and my new phone ... thanks!
So far, I'm impressed with the Android OS and the Hero ... I even like HTC's Sense UI, didn't think I would because I didn't like a previous HTC WinMo UI. There are some apps included with the phone that I'm not interested in (ex: Sprint TV, Nascar, HTC Widgets, etc.) and would like to uninstall but based on what I've been reading the only way to do that is to "root" my phone ... is that correct? And if I root my Hero, wouldn't I lose access to the Sense UI components that I wanted to keep?