Not long after the original Nook came out, it was hacked, and progress on that front has been consistently documented over at NookDevs. The latest update to the Nook Color page indicates that yes, the new device has been rooted in part, a new UI installed (LauncherPro), and apps side-loaded to the “extras” section of the native UI.
The process of rooting is still in the “experts only” phase, so don’t get all freaked out just yet. That said, the Nook may provide a more solid value as a general purpose tablet, since it costs so much less than some of its competitors. I like the form factor, but there’s no guarantee it’s got the horsepower to really make Android hum.
The latest news can be found here at Fine Oils, where developer chats and postings are summarized — a very useful service, thanks to the admin there for doing it.