[Q] HTC Hero Rooting Advice?

Hi, I'm new to this forum and this is my first post. I have looked at other questions on here, however thought I would ask a new one, as they do not all cover what I would like to ask, as mine are more specific. I have a few questions/issues that I'm unsure about, so would like to ask on here Excuse me if they sound silly and basic
Anywhoo, I would like to Root my device (HTC Hero 2.1) however would like to know the potential disadvantges of this and any 'safe guide' to doing so. I have read advice online where some drawbacks can be 'bricking' and voiding the warranty, but would like advice upon how to prevent this from happening. Also, I have read that you can un-root the device? If this is the case, once this is done, if there is a problem with my phone and I send it back, will it still be under warranty as such, so in the sense that can't they tell it's been rooted prior to the repair? (may sound like a silly question but I'm a newbie on this)
Also, I don't intend to make my phone some sort of superpowered device (which it won't as it's not the best of phones on the market but hey), however would like to increase the loading/processing time of applications, view other OS', Baseband etc.. Also, how will this affect my data? - i.e. messages, conversations (whatsapp, pingchat etc) and other apps currently installed on the phone. Also any other information that may be necassary to know. Not meaning to sound picky or bossy, but would like a more complex answer to this, not just short one lined answers that are much help as a chocolate teapot!

Many Thanks

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