We got one for the family last xmas. We have been pleased. I wanted it as a sofa pc and it has served that purpose nicely. I was not familiar with the Android platform, so having a device to learn on was another bonus.
As far as rooting, one can download all sorts of apps, including a terminal screen. It is a behaves just like a console and lets me poke around a bit. But maybe that is not why you want to root.
I set up the Nexus with a brand new, for that device only, Google account. We went to town on free downloads. Unfortunately, most the free apps require access to pretty much all and any of your information and communication, so it is nice to have the account tied to non-personal information. With that being said, I work under the assumption my tablet is full of spyware, key-loggers and miscellaneous crap. I do not do any "business" on the tablet. In fact, it doesn't sound like I'm doing any business. (Damn you AMC!)
There are some SMB clients to download as well. Couple that with VLC player and one can stream all of their content from LAN servers to the device. Speaking of which, Netflix works great on it. Plug in my old earbuds and I can watch a film in bed without bugging anyone. I don't think I would bother to copy any files to the device as I stream everything.
I haven't done the ebook route so I can't comment there.
Sometimes if the battery drains all the way out and then recharges, a push of the power button does not always turn it back on. Hold the power button for ~7 seconds, then the system will reboot. Took me a while to figure that one out, thought the system was dead.