My phone MUST have a QWERTY keyboard. Likewise, I probably won't upgrade for another several years, since QWERTY phones seem to be dead, nowadays. I'm sticking with my Droid 4 until the community gives up on it, or it explodes.
I absolutely believe that it's worth it. I can type with the same speed and precision as I can on a regular computer keyboard, and I prefer that over relying on auto-correct, auto-fill, word prediction, or many of the other replacements for letter-by-letter typing. How I type on a computer - syntax, spelling, lack of shorthand - is how I type on a phone, and I'd prefer to keep it that way. I'm of the mindset that phone manufacturers have sacrificed the keyboard for a slimmer phone, and come out with virtual keyboards that try to emulate what was already there in the past.
EDIT: I would like to point out that the custom ROMs aren't perfect. They can be used as daily drivers, but MMS is a hit-or-miss (working on some uptimes, and not working on other uptimes), GPS works at random, and you'll experience the Sleep of Death more than a few times. Typically, if you have Touch Sounds enabled on your phone, and you suddenly hear the sound "die", you do NOT want to turn off the phone's screen or do anything involving media playback - if you do, you won't be able to turn it back on without doing a hard reset. Just reset until the sound works, again - of course, then you'll need to make sure that MMS works with that specific reboot. A good way to test that would be to send an MMS to somebody; if it sends, it works. If not, you'll need to reset the phone until it does, keeping in mind the (common) sound bug, as well. GPS is the same; if it works on a specific uptime, it'll work for the duration of that uptime.
If you're willing to put up with these three rather annoying bugs, the features of the custom ROMs more than make up for it. I'd choose CyanogenMod over Stock any day of the week.