I'm delurking to post success my results of my successful rooting. A few things for other fellow noobs.
1. Watch a YouTube video before you root. It made the process much less stressful.
2. You lose most of your settings on your phone but surprisingly not your wifi settings. Follow the manual method by jcase.
3. Rooting is free but you'll probably want to spend 4 bucks on root explorer after you are rooted.
4. I rooted for the wifi hotspot. Barnacle seems slow. Find wifi tether on code.google.com and download the 2.0.7 version. I'm getting about 3 Mbps on it vs 50 kbs on barnacle.
5. I was on the July update MR2.5 but haven't had problems on the MR1.
Thanks to all who posted before me and gave me the incentive to root.