Hopefully not, rooting and having a tinker is what makes android great, I dread to think how I would feel if I was forced into the world of Apple, think I might end up with windows mobile yea I don't want to think like that, long live rooting I say.
I've heard bad things about Verizon doing things to their phones, do you not have a third party retailer in the states? I know that in the UK most people, especially people who want to modify their handsets, will buy from Carphone warehouse or even phones 4 u. You basically end up with the international unlocked version of the handset, as it was intended. I made the mistake of getting my Z1 from EE, turned out that the bootloader couldn't be unlocked no matter what I did, so I bricked it and sent it off for repair through Carphone, got a fully unlocked brand new handset back in five days.
From my Wicked S3 running MIUI