After many months of lurking, reading, downloading the tools, and then deciding not to risk bricking my A855, I gave it a shot today following this tutorial:
How To Root Motorola Droid
unfortunately that tutorial doesn't mention you have to catch the phone on reboot by pressing up on the D-pad so it booted back normally while RSD Lite wasn't finished installing SPRecovery, and of course everything hosed up. My phone would display a red LED, no battery charge indicatr and no data connectivity. It would get to my main screen, but would reboot itself after a couple of minutes.
Reading around - I figured out the issue about "catching the boot" and tried re-flashing SPRecovery - now RSD Lite showed a "Pass" indication and would complete, but the phone still would show the red LED, and now it would only get to the eye animation before boot-looping.
I then tried flashing Clockwork and it got back into the desktop then reboot cycle.
I did a factory reset via clockwork (I had no backups of anything - n00b mistake.) Now I had a box-stock phone that still reboots and had ehte LEd and battery/data issue.
Finally I read a suggestion here on another thread to try a stock VZW .sbf and see if that helped a boot-looped phone.
Finally now I am back to what appears to be a normally functioning bone-stock device running 2.2 /FRG01B- although I can't get it activated on the network via the automated phone-call system. I'll deal with that later.
So - what do I do from here? I was hoping to have a rooted phone that I can then install gingerbread on using Peter Alfonso's rooted ROM's - but honestly, the more people's walkthroughs I read, the more confused I get, as they all seem to be different in procedure.
I'm not an idiot, I just need some accurate help that doesn't assume I know all of the abbreviations when referring to whatever programs/processes are required, and maybe someon that is willing to answer some IM/PM questions if problems pop up.