This is your answer right there. You will only lose your settings/apps/contacts etc.....if you flash a new ROM or an old ROM back to your phone. Rooting will not affect it. You can use the VZW backup assistant to store your contacts or you could sync them to your gmail account. As for Apps and such you would need to use something like Titanium Backup after you root to store that info. Once you flash your new ROM you can use Titanium Backup to restore apps and other info as needed.