I got a 16gig retail "black woven" Demo X from Verizon in early Sept that I used for two months. This was the first phone in a long while that I didn't use a case for. It felt great in my hand. I didn't drop it. And after using it, I saw little need to root. Tethering was the biggest draw for root, along with blocking ads.
I've never been a fan of alternate ROMs. The ones I've tried on past phones always had bugs or issues, got updated frequently, etc. I spent more time "debugging" and "flashing" my phone than actually using it. With its stock ROM, the X just works and is so close to stock android that I don't want to mess that up with a custom rom. So I haven't really looked into the availability of the custom Moto X features (like active display, voice control, etc)
In early Nov when it came time to send the demo back, I opted to purchase the Dev Edition X for Verizon. At the time it was way more expensive, voided the warranty to unlock the bootloader, but the only 32gig option for Verizon, and most important to me was the ability to root without waiting on an exploit. When the Kit Kat root came out so fast, I was kind of kicking myself for not just using an upgrade and getting the Retail X. BUT.. seeing how involved the SlapMyMoto & MotoWpNoMo processes are compared to rooting the Dev Edition X, I felt better about my purchase. With the Dev X, its just flash TWRP recovery, boot into it and install SuperSU no matter what version stock ROM you are running. There is also the unknown of the 4.4.2 update coming, what is needed to install it if you've rooted with SlapMyMoto, and how to re-root if you have a locked boot loader. That wont be a problem with the Dev Ed. And recently Moto changed their policy about unlocking the Dev Edition bootloader, it no longer voids the warranty, and they re-instated the warranties which also makes me feel better.
I wouldn't say I'm a "fan" of the Dev Ed backing, either color or its slipperiness. The texture of the black woven demo I had was different/better. I have dropped my Dev X at home (on the carpet thankfully). To solve the lack of grip, I got one of those XtremeGuard
full body kits when they were on sale for like $2.50 including shipping. I've only put the back on my phone and it has helped. I also have a SUPCASE
and a Minisuit Clipster
The cases do cover up the back, so had I opted for a MotoMaker, I wouldn't see its back when in the case. While both cases do alter the size and feel a little, its not enough to make me not use the case.
In the end, its up to you. Ease of Root and Write Protection Enable, Possibility of running 3rd party ROMs (which may cost you the Moto X features) vs custom colors and trim which might get covered by a case anyway, and may be less slippery without a case, and uncertainty of rooting.
Oh, and you can still use safe strap to run a few "custom" roms on the motomaker X.