I used to use a Desire HD religiously. It was just a great all round phone, great experience, battery life, and it was very moddable.
I recently went back to a Desire HD because, why not. It meant getting hold of one, which was easy enough. It seemed OK to start with, other than being branded with Orange (who are now EE with T-Mobile)
It was awful, performance sucked so bad. Granted I know phones now are quad (even octo core) battery draining beasts, but I remember the performance being much better. That could have been, I said to myself, because I used to use custom roms on my old one. I should do that now.
Which was next to impossible. It’s so tricky to get the bootloader to S-OFF and all the requirements you need so you can load a custom ROM (and yes I tried all the tools and utilities including AAHK2 and so on)… I gave up. The furthest I got was being able to install a custom recovery.
And then I read something else. You needn’t even bother with S-OFF. All you need to do is extract the boot.img from the ROM you want to install. Then, install the ROM the normal way through the recovery. Only don’t reboot, go to the bootloader, into fastboot, and flash the boot.img that way, from ADB on CMD/Terminal/command prompt of choice. “fastboot flash boot boot.img” … worked perfectly. I may try other roms at some point, but for now, Cyanogen mod has made me happy.