A Few Root/Rom Questions

I have an At&t One X and I am getting tired of waiting for JB so I am thinking about rooting and installing a rom or two. Since the rooting process clears your phone is there anything out there that I can back up my apps prior to rooting?

Also once I root any suggestions on a rom? I have been looking at CM10, AOKP, and King Kang (CM10-AOKP-Paranoid Android hybrid)

thanks