why root? a friend asked me today via mail.. heres the longish reply i ended up sending him(thought it worth sharing here as well).
1) allows me to remove the crapware that came preinstalled(my samsung phone had loads.. this iconia has a few stupid apps that are taking up space)
2) recovery boot menu- saved my bacon a few times
3) ability to flash different roms. this was not something i thought i'd ever need to do with my phone, but i wound up doing it so often in the last year.. so now i just look forward to trying new roms. my phone officially got froyo a full 12months after it was released for the european models.. but since i had rooted and started flashing roms, i was able to get froyo at the same time as those guys in europe.
(to be fair, with Odin, rooting is not necessary if you need to flash roms.. atleast on froyo and eclair devices)
4) overclocking(not an issue right now, but once the newer+faster tabs come out, software(mostly games) meant to run on them will only run smoothly on my device if i overclock it.
5) i use ubuntu a lot, and prefer having Su(super-user..previously called "root") access most of the time there as well.
to be fair with honeycomb being able to read usb devices(including my hdd) i don't think i'l need root access anytime soon. though there is a method around that allows u to use usb datacards(tata photon, reliance dongles) on the iconia.. but that does require root, so.. will root at first opertunity :)
in a nutshell if an android device can support most of the features that users want.. (as soon as they see them on XDA forums.. etc), they probably wont root. :D
CAUTION: the process of rooting itself is usally safe, but working with a rooted phone is a bit risky if you don't know what you are doing..
theoretically you may inadvertantly brick it by messing with the wrong files or something.