I've noticed that my needs in a smartphone have drastically changed over the years. I used to be all about rooting and romming. I wanted to customize everything and maximize everything. Then when I got over the hyper customization phase, I only rooted and rommed to get things like better battery life, stock android, a smoother experience, ditch bloatware, battery % and notification widgets, etc. It started to feel more like a chore.
I've got an upgrade next october and I'm already planning what I want in a phone. I got my galaxy nexus last february and while I thought it was great initially, I wish I had waited. Great for romming and rooting and all that jazz, but I bought it at a time when I was moving away from that and now I don't hate my phone, but I don't enjoy using it either. It's just there. I feel like updating my rom all the time is a chore, the battery life is very mediocre, below average signal, dated screen, and worst of all, that plastic build.
Now my needs have moved very far away from r&r. Now most important to me are build quality (including screen), good camera, battery life, and smoothness. Android has greatly advanced in those categories and I used to have to root to get the latter two, now I don't feel like I need to. Rooting is the last thing I want to do. The most important of those is build quality. I love android, but when I hold my dads iphone 5, I wish I could put 4.2 in that chassis.
So come october, the way thing's look I will probably be going with HTC. I know there's a lot of time until then but HTC seems to be producing the best software to build quality ratio what with the One X and DNA and their next rumored phone (M7 or something?)