There is a little confusion about what "rooting" really means.
To "root" means to enable access to the "SuperUser" account - so you can install other programs, such as a different launcher/home screen, different reader, or even installing the google Market, as well as modify/change system file. You might think of it in windows terms as the difference between a normal user account and an administrator account. With Windows 7, you can only install programs if you have access to the administrator account.
With Android, you can only modify certain programs if you have administrator rights, and in the android world the administrator account is typically called "root". There is a setting in Android that disables the ability to install programs. The Nook Color and Nook touch both are sold by B&N with that setting enabled. When you "root" these devices (i.e. with Manual Nooter) you are giving the account the ability to change that setting - thus allowing other programs, such as launchers, readers, or the Android Market, to be installed.
In the Nook Color world, people have taken that a step further - they are actually REPLACING the b&n android operating system with a DIFFERENT operating system (typically it is a variant of Cyanogenmod CM7); or they simply boot the Nook Color from their SD card into CM7, and the B&N software lies dormant, and unused. People often refer to this as "rooting" although that is not exactly correct, because it is possible to do this without actually rooting or modifying the B&N software. The substitute operating system (cm7) does have root access, however.
This option of replacing or running a different O/S for the Nook Touch is not available. You can change the launcher program, or homescreen. But the underlying o/s stays the same.
Last edited by jasoraso; 10-10-2011 at 12:35 PM.