On the flashing eng hboot thing, I agree with raitchison. All of the stuff to do with rooting/S-OFF etc has a certain degree of risk, it's not 100% "safe". But if you carefully read up on everything in advance, and then carefully carry out the necessary procedures, you will have to be pretty unlucky to end up bricked.
Specifically with the eng hboot, when you have copied the file to your phone, before dd'ing it you should run a checksum on it for safety's sake, to make sure you have downloaded and copied a valid file and not a corrupt one. The checksums are in the Wiki.
As long as you do this and are then very careful in typing that instruction to do the "dd" itself (copy and paste can help reduce the possibility for error), then the only thing that could go wrong really is your phone losing power or crashing right in the middle of the dd. I think you'd have to be extremely unlucky for that latter possibilities to happen.
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