How to Install Android 2.3 Gingerbread on HTC Hero
Here's how you can install the Android 2.3 Gingerbread ROM on your HTC Hero.
Download Android 2.3 Gingerbread for HTC Hero (Cyanogen Mod 7) ROM. In case the link doesn't work, check out the original source at CyanogenMod forums; I've posted a link at the end of the article.
Connect the HTC Hero to your PC and copy the downloaded ROM to your HTC Hero's SD card root.
On your phone, start Android Market and search for ROM Manager. Install the Clockwork Mod ROM Manager.
Start ROM manager and click on Flash Clockwork Mod Recovery. Install the recovery ROM on your phone and install ROM from SD card.
Select the ROM you copied to the SD card and select it. Select Wipe Data and Cache and the Backup Existing ROM options and install the Android 2.3 Gingerbread ROM on your HTC Hero.
The ROM flashing will begin and in a few minutes, your phone should be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, if everything goes right. If there is some error, boot into the recovery mode and try flashing that ROM again.
Note: This is a beta version of the Cyanogen Mod 7 Android 2.3 Gingerbread ROM. It doesn't have Google Apps installed. You can get the Gapps from here and install it too.
It is a bit buggy, so install it at your own risk. Make sure that you take backups before you install any new ROMs. Here's a list of the features that work properly: Camera, Sensors, Tethering, GPS, Trackball, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Sound, GSM, 3G, USB mass storage.
Check out the original source at CyanogenMod if you have any doubts or queries regarding the ROM. It's where you can get the updated ROM.
ROM Source: CyanogenMod Forums
In case you don't want to install Android 2.3 on your HTC Hero, but want to buy a new phone, check out the list of the Best Android Phones as well as the Best Android phones at CES 2011.