If you have a HTC Hero, and have been insanely jealous about Android 2.0 not being available for said HTC Hero, and can't wait for HTC to update said HTC Hero with said Android 2.0, fear not, you can get Android 2.1 on your HTC Hero today. Yeah, who needs Android 2.0 when you can get 2.1, right?
The good folks of xda-developers (who else!) have leaked the Android 2.1 ROM and anyone with a HTC Hero can download and explore the beauty that is Android 2.x. The installation process seems manageable but of course, the risk your HTC Hero ends up as an expensive paperweight always exists, so backing up everything would be a smart idea. The Android 2.1 ROM isn't an official release but it does come complete with HTC Sense UI.
Be sure to let us know how it works out for you in the comments!