From what I read, Gingerbread was going to help, and as I was fairly happy with things, I decided not to root the phone - I stuck with stock for ages. When HTC said they were not going to release Gingerbread for the Desire, I started looking around at rooting and putting Cyanogen on.
I had put Cyanogen on my old HTC Magic, and it was pretty good - the process was scary, but all was good. I was about to 'do the deed' on my Desire when HTC release their 'hacked version' to allow GB on the Desire - I installed that and was fairly impressed - for about 4 weeks! Then I was getting the messages again.
So I took the plunge and had a quick read - however rooting the Desire and putting CM7 on was a dream compared to the Magic - and has given me a 'new phone' all over again. I have all the configuration I could want again, it is faster, and I have loads of space for apps.
I used Revolutionary.io to get S-Off and deal with the HBOOT - just an app and a couple of clicks - sorted.