I did this a while back (removed the front snorkel plus air dam blocking the intake tubes) and the sound is great, there is a small increase in performance, and mileage has gone up a bit. Oh, I put in the K&N drop in filter and removed the resonator as well.
I'm not concerned with water at all, there really isn't a direct line from the grill into the snorkels. You might get a little in there if it's really pouring and you're on the highway, but there's no way you'd get enough to even get the filter wet unless you were up to the grill in standing water.
I'm happy with this, considering it cost like $45 in parts and maybe an hour of my time.
Hatch Nation #29