I've been told rooting is the be all and end all, but at the moment, I want to see how far I can extend my device without rooting it.
One thing that would be good is screenshot functionality, but I can't seem to find an application on the marketplace that does this without a ** ROOTED PHONES ONLY ** disclaimer.
Is there any way to get screenshot functionality without a rooted phone? And what is the reason for this functionality being disabled by default. The iFail can get screenshotted with 2 button pushes, why not the Android?
This functionality is available with the developer toolkit. The post is a bit old so newer versions of Android will have different icons and slightly different menus, but it walks you through getting the tools installed and then being able to capture screen-shots. Also the tutorial is for Windows, but it should work with any OS that you get the Android dev tools running on (Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux).
How to take screenshots of your Android based phone from Windows
No - there is no way to get screenshot functionality on your phone without rooting it.
If you want to carry around a laptop with you just so you can take a screengrab whenever you want, you can install the JDK and hook it up via USB.
But if you want an experience comparable to the iPhone process (on device screenshotting), then you'll have to root.
As to why this is disabled by default, I haven't found a good answer to that.
You can try pressing the power button and the home button at the same time.