I need root.
I have apps I need on my tablet that will only install on phones (titanium backup, restore to tablet).
I also can't navigate a phone without LMT any more *sigh*
The bright side is that I have things setup so that I can swap phones - and everything looks and functions the same.
TSF Shell (pricey, but practical), LMT Pie Only (from XDA) - with my 2nd row and long presses bunched up with all my common applications.
The interface is a "want" - but means I can pick up my moto X with republic wireless or my G2 with TMobile, and have the same functions in the same places - and immediate access to Gmail, SMS, phone, camera, music, Play store, AMZ play store, LIFX, and maps - all with one swipe.
It's gotten to be a muscle memory for app launching for me.
But... as for your use and needs, only you can really decide that.
As for custom roms....
I'm still on stock with Xposed...
G2 TweaksBox, LG Pie Support, and RootCloak enabled. That is.
I tried AOSP roms on my sprint G2, but didn't find any real benefits to it, nor any I was really happy with.
Normally I jump from stock ASAP. This phone - with Xposed - you really don't need to leave stock.