I dont think energy rom is suitable for newbies cause it has OC and can heat up device badly if someone doesnt know it well. I still suggest newbies use Hydro rom. It's just like stock but remove bloats (with flashable bloat zips if u still want it) and it has some performance improvements.As has been said but to stress it.. TWRP is the way to go on this device.
Also as was mentioned before unless you just want to stay 100% stock on this device the easiest route is to...
1. Unlock using the ASUS tool
2. fastboot install TWRP
3. Flash a ROM like Energy ROM that is based on the ASUS stock but is pre-rooted.
Will work like a champ using the instructions here although if you follow the tinyurl link a few back to go directly to TWRP page.. you can get the latest and the fastboot command for installing TWRP are on the same page. So then you just need to get the unlock APK... Run it. Once unlocked follow the TWRP instructions, reboot, but Energy ROM file on internal SD, then reboot to TWRP recovey, BACKUP stock install... (I chose to use a 2gb SD card to make an archive copy of the stock JB load) then install ROM...
reboot and you are rooted and running a tweaked version of stock ROM.
Thanks to the OP for starting a clear concise thread for new devices so that it was all in one place.