Some might say that all Android users can be categorized into one of two groups: those who root and those who don't. These groups can be further divided into countless subgroups, sure, but root access is easily a separating factor. You're either on one side of the line or the other.
But what about the people who are on the line? They are the root-curious guys and gals who keeping hearing about the underground world of rooting but are, for one reason or another, hesistant to check it out for themselves. They want to know more about the benefits of rooting, though, so they ask a lot of questions.
And now that the first proven rooting method for Android 2.2 on the HTC EVO is out, many of the typical root-curious questions are being asked again. Why should I root? What can I do with root access? What's so good about rooting? Should I do it?
You're the only one who can answer the last question, but the other three (which are variations of the same question) are briefly addressed below.
Freedom. Android may be an open-source operating system, but that doesn't mean you can do anything you want with the EVO right out of the box. What you can do with a stock EVO is what HTC and Sprint let you do.
Rooting your EVO gives you complete control of the system, which in turn grants you the freedom to do anything you want to do, including what HTC and Sprint don't want you to do.
Sprint app removal. One example of the aforementioned freedom is being able to remove all those Sprint apps. Without root access, these apps are permanently installed on your EVO.
Deeper customizations. If you think your EVO is already highly customizable, then just wait until you see how much more it can be customized with root. Boot animations and themes don't even scratch the surface.
More apps. There are a lot of awesome apps out there that only work on rooted phones. You've probably seen variations of "root only" or "root required" notes in app descriptions on Android Market, AppBrain, and elsewhere. With a rooted EVO, these apps are no longer off limits. You can install great stuff like ShootMe, Root Explorer, Copy Paste It, and countless others.
Free WiFi hotspot/tethering. This is one of the "awesome apps" alluded to above, but it definitely deserves its own mention. With root, you can turn your EVO into a mobile hotspot using apps like Wireless Tether, Barnacle Wifi Tether, and others. And you can do it for free!
Custom ROMs. You can't flash a custom ROM on your EVO without root. On just about every point, a custom ROM is better than the stock ROM. Talented developers cook up all kinds of custom ROMs that are cleaner, leaner, and meaner than anything that Sprint/HTC will ever put out.
Complete backups. Although anything done with your Google account is backed up to the cloud and there are ways to back up some of your apps, the only way to create a complete backup (Nandroid/ROM Manager) of your EVO is by having root access. Creating this kind of backup is similar to cloning/ghosting a computer's hard drive; you get everything.
Pretty compelling reasons to root, wouldn't you say?
Note: Rooting your EVO is always done at your own risk.