So, you were a little skeptical – and lets face it, maybe a little jealous – when you saw the images of the HTC Hero caught in the wild running Android 2.1 with, apparently, a new HTC Sense UI. Now we have news that the folks over at xda-developers have leaked a Hero 2.1 Eclair ROM for the intrepid amongst you out there.

A lot of you with a Hero might want to try this, but always remember to back up everything before doing something like this. So you don’t end up with an expensive paperweight on your hands. And also have in mind that even if the steps look easy enough, you still want to be really careful, so be warned.

According to numerous rumors, HTC is already on the works with this update, and might be releasing it by the end of this year. The software is still evolving, so far the browser, Gmail, messaging, 3G/EDGE and the phone are working. But unfortunately, WiFi, Multi-touch, contacts, and the Market are not working, although some people report some progress downloading Astro.