This was once a point of confusion for me, and I see that it is still misunderstood all over these forums. So I will attempt to clarify what is Sense, what is a launcher, and what your real options are. Most people think they can get a "no Sense" environment simply by installing a custom launcher app, like LauncherPro or ADW Launcher. Completely false. The launcher is only one out of many components that comprise Sense. To really understand what Sense is and isn't, flash a custom ROM with Sense completely stripped. What you're left with raw Android functionality, commonly referred to as AOSP: Android Open Source Project. Only when you've used an AOSP ROM will you be able to decide whether you can live with or without Sense. Out of the box, every piece of UI you see is Sense. The phone dialer. Voicemail. Music player. Calendar. Contact list. Clock/Alarm. Lock screen. Lock pattern/pin/password. Sense "widgets." Camera/camcorder. And tons more stuff. It's all Sense. More importantly, the ability for these components to interact with each other is what Sense is really about. When you install a custom launcher, you're only replacing Sense's launcher. And while you do lose the ability to run HTC's widgets, all the other components of Sense are still there. So when people say: "Sense sucks. Use LauncherPro instead," they really mean "Sense's Launcher sucks." Once you're on an AOSP ROM, you'll likely find that the default Android replacement apps are quite poor or boring. So you'll need to find replacements for pretty much everything. For some people, this is exactly what they want. For others, they just want a better launcher, and they like their other Sense components, even if they don't realize those other components are part of Sense. So what is a launcher? It's an app that manages your home screens and your app drawer. Whenever you need to run an app/widget on your phone, you're doing it through the launcher. So it is definitely the most commonly used app on your phone, and custom launchers are highly customizable. Hence their popularity over the fixed, rigid Sense launcher. But Sense's advantage is that everything works well right out of the box, and all of Sense's components work and look a consistent way. As I discovered, when you try to strip out a single component, things start to break (like deleting the HTC lock screen). So Sense is all or nothing. Running a custom launcher on top of Sense is a far cry from replacing Sense, and that's the main point I wanted to make.