The Special Offers aren't a deal-killer, imho. The one on the lock screen doesn't bug me, and you can get rid of the "recommendations" on the other screen by changing a setting. The Kindle Fire HD is tricky to root, the first-gen Fire is really easy. I don't own this specific model so don't know how locked down it is. Side-loading is really easy if you use sites like 1Mobile and its ilk. $99 is a good price, though, if you don't care about cameras.