On the updates side you can always enrol for the developer program and get updates straight away. Although my HTC 8x' battery isn't as good now I'm running WP8.1. . Still worth the update its much better than WP8.
No unlocking, rooting and stuff involved for patching a Windows phone outside of carrier-pushed updates?
Off topic, but what went wrong, I've rooted three Samsung Androids no problem.
My first time trying. At some point during one of the many steps (HTC One), a process seemed to hang. It was either the ROM copy or install, not sure; whatever process just sat there for over an hour, and I decided that was too long so I restarted the phone. It went into a boot loop, making it impossible to reach the bootloader screen again, and wouldn't turn off until running out of power. It could be soft-bricked and not necessarily really bricked, but I didn't have the time to devote to troubleshooting and had to buy a new phone that night. What's sad is that my friend who enjoys tinkering with Android is in another state and I don't know anyone at work who knows anything about Android (not surprising given that non-iPhones are essentially banned from the company, officially not supported by IT, and employees are fitted with iPhones). Entirely possible there are closet users among my coworkers, but I'm not about to expend the energy looking either.
Oh well. I'm not regretting it now since I split my investment between cheap phone and decent camera (dang, digital cameras just keep getting smaller and cheaper). If there was a non-iPhone sized like the Samsung Galaxy Light but made from top-quality materials like a Surface, running either Android or Windows (I'm willing to convert to the latter if one doesn't need to tinker overmuch for Windows updates, along with Office integration even if basic), that'd be perfect! Given the popularity of iPhone, why can't OEMs see the market there? Some of us prefer upgrading-plus-downsizing. Otherwise I wouldn't have been interested in the Surface at all.