Oh my, where to start?
Gingerbread (Android 3.0) will NOT require a 1Ghz processor, 512MB of RAM or a 3.5" screen or larger. Those are apparently just suggested specifications. So it should still run on lower spec phones, however it should run smoothly on phones with the 1Ghz/512/3.5" spec or higher range. I wouldn't hold my breath on a phone in hopes it'll be Gingerbread-capable, if it has come out this year and it's on the higher end you should be confident you'll get 3.0.
As for the Droid 2: It won't be out until August at the earliest. And that's just in the US, no word on it going to the UK yet. It's specs are:
3.7" touch screen
QWERTY keyboard (4 or 5 row, can't recall)
either a 720Mhz or 1Ghz processor, no official specs have been released so I can't say for sure
Almost definitely going to have 512MB of RAM
Android 2.1 with 2.2 following shortly after release, if it doesn't already come with 2.2
5.0MP camera with flash, HD video recording at 720p
It'll definitely be a nice phone, although the design doesn't stray far from the original Droid at all.
Now, as for the original Droid... you don't have that in the UK. You have the Milestone. It is exactly the same as the Droid, minus the Droid branding. I'm pretty sure you can pick that up right now, it should still be available.
But, how soon is your contract up? The Droid/Milestone is already starting to get date. It's got a 550Mhz processor with 256MB of RAM... it should have Android 2.2 by the end of this month though, which will help speed it up. But still, not the best processor compared to what you can get now. So give me a date when you'd want to get a new phone and I can give my best recommendation.
As for the whole rooting thing, I wouldn't put that as my main factor in deciding a phone. Almost all Android phones get rooted now. Plenty before they are even out for sale. So if it's not in the works even when the phone is about to be or has been on sale shortly, it will eventually be rooted. And really, there's plenty of customizations and things you can do on non-rooted Android, especially with apps on ADW launcher in the market. As you said Rex, if you're not a power user rooting is the least of your worries.
Oh sh*t, I completely forgot to touch up on the Dell Streak. This is definitely a phone, but it's on the extreme end. 5.5" screen means it's going to be HUGE in your hand, and possible impossible to fit in your pocket. Not me, I've got large pockets, but I would definitely want hands on with the phone before purchasing to see how it feels. I've read and seen good things about the phone, it seems very solid and capable. It's just very, very large. The Droid X with the 4.3" screen I'll be getting shortly is probably my limit on everyday phone size.
If you can handle a touchscreen only phone, I thought I never could but that's changed (I love my G1's keyboard, nothing will EVER beat it lol, 55 words per minute!), then I'd say consider the Droid X. As of now I haven't heard of any plans to sell outside of the USA, and I work for Verizon Wireless lol. But as of now, it's THE best phone, specification wise. Once it gets Android 2.2 (which would be "late this summer") it should be the FASTEST Android phone hands down, at least until the Samsung Galaxy S phones come out. In fact, I'd go as far as to say the Droid X with 2.2 is/will be the fastest cellphone out there, period.
On a side note, I just got done watching a 23 minute iPhone 4 vs Droid X comparison, looked through 6 or 7 Android blog sites, posted several comments on my own Android Facebook fan page (in my link) then came here and typed this. So... about 2 hours on Android stuff? My brain is fried, and I know way too much about Android and Android phones... lol. It sucks being a fanboy.
Edited by Pico, 04 July 2010 - 08:49 PM.