I have had the device for a few months and have many apps installed.
I do not want to lose my apps and settings.
To my knowledge:
Rooting requires unlocking the bootloader.
Unlocking the bootloader performs a factory data reset.
Performing a nandroid backup requires a custom recovery, which requires a bootloader unlock…
Is there any way for me to get root and end up with all of my apps and settings in their current state?
Obtain root access without unlocking the bootloader?
Perform a full device backup without unlocking the bootloader?
Use an exploit to unlock the bootloader without wiping the data?