This is assuming everything is set up. If you hand me a nookcolor out of the box, 5 minutes later I will hand you back an android tablet. One powers down the device, inserts the autonooter'd micro-sd card, plug the device into a power source, and it will automatically boot, go through the process of establishing ADB root access and place superuser (among other things like market, youtube, etc) into
/system/app. It will then reboot after about 5 minutes once it's done its magic and voila.
Where people get hung up on is burning the autonooter image to the SD card, and its a bit harder to do on Windows since you need to download the free app 'WinImage' to do so, whereas on linux and Mac you simply do the dd command from the terminal.
So the actual rooting is extremely fast, its reading up on how to burn the image and then then subsequent steps to establish market access that can take some time. It's stupid simple and laid out very clearly on the nookcolor wiki, though, and the #nookcolor channel on freenode is available for troubleshooting.
I have talked with thousands of customers face to face and less than 1% have any idea of what rooting is, and for them the nookcolor is already more than enough tablet for them. Web browser, video playback, pandora, books, magazines, newspapers. But for the few who do mention it and I've vetted as savvy enough to get it, popping out my own NC with CM7, with live wallpapers, market access, all sorts of apps...thats a sale I'm certain to make.
Since such a small number of people, respectively, unlock the device, I do not believe B&N will revise the hardware to change the boot order (NC is hardwired to boot off SD, which is why all this is possible). The vast majority of people love the NC just how it is, locked down yet very functional and rave to their friends about it. Couple that with how the dev community is keeping the NC in the press constantly (ie. getting the Cyanogen blessing, bluetooth enabled, overclocked, each of these has gotten it into the blogs), it's a win-win. The only real drawback for B&N would be if people chose to install the Kindle app and not the Nook app. However, after talking with many rooted users, they all seem to understand that they should reward B&N with their business for digital content whenever possible. The last thing anyone wants is for them to regret putting the most open, hackable android device ever out on the market.