Pros: Fun, durable, functional and.........fun.
Cons: None really, except for jurky SUV drivers who think they are cool but are not.
First some history. I got my wife this little thing for her b-day in 2002, after she spent countless hours drooling on the windows of the Vespa dealer. She didn't have a car and couldn't/wouldn't drive my truck. So, I looked like the loving husband and she was happy. And she still is.
Features: The 2003 Vespa ET4 150 looks like the 2000 one pictured here. Yes, it has a 149.58 cc engine (I round up to 150) that can get up to 65 mph, a 2.4 gallon gas take that sips 92 octane gas at 42 miles per gallon, electronic (push button) and kick start ignition and best of all is that it has an automatic transmission (not being a motorcycle person, shifting looked too hard). See http://www.vespausa.com/
Price: Yep, I dropped some nice cash on this. In the end the Vespa was $4500 and now my truck is being held responsible for it. Also, we had to register it here in Utah ($80) and get insurance for it ($200/year). All the registration and insurance is much cheaper then my truck ($way to much).
What I think: So a year and some later, the scooter has 1500 miles on it and still runs smoothly. The ride is smooth and there isn't any of that numbing vibration from the engine that I remember from my old two cylinder scooter from high school. The engine is also quite and slightly higher in pitch then you would expect while you are driving it. Sure some think that the thundering noise of a hog is cool but with the Vespa you can have it running and can talk with a normal voice. Once again it isn't lawn mower on two wheels and you don't need earplugs to be near it. It has enough power to handle the hills around salt lake city with the two of us on it (yes the it'll fit two adults on it but the foot rests are slightly inconvenient for the passenger on the basic model. A more convenient passenger foot rest sold as an extra. Also the Vespa has adjustable rear suspension so that you can make the ride smoother for two people or less bouncy for one.) and now my wife takes it on the highway (only about 1/2 mile at 65 mph) to and from work. With the two of us on the Vespa, it has gotten up to 55 mph and we don't have any problems getting up to speed. My wife has stated that there is some vibrations that occur at 60 mph but are gone once you get above that. This Vespa has good pick up and usually we are the first 'off the line' and up to speed from stop lights, so you don't need to fear people yelling at you for being slow. The Vespa ET4 is a highway legal vehicle and can handle some highway driving. I don't think I would take it on I-80 across Wyoming but it will handle stuff around cities.
So how does it handle? Good question, I'm not sure how to really address this besides giving examples of my driving. I have no problems going extremely slow, even to a full stop, with out having balancing issues and having to put down my feet. I do U-turns with ease and I feel in control all the time and I haven't had the handle bars vibrate on me. The brakes are strong and respond well to the pressure applied to them. Also braking is very smooth even when you are braking hard. I would say that's good handling.
One little bad thing, the Vespa isn't good for hauling lumber or heavy furniture or towing boats, house or speed. But the Vespa does have a few places to carry things. First there is a lockable compartment under the big seat that is large enough to hold a helmet and there is a hook on the edge of that compartment that works for hanging your helmet outside the compartment while having it locked down. That's something really nice when two people are zooming around town but apparently it isn't good for pets and there is a sticker in it that states so. Also there is another lockable compartment in the front of the scooter that is good for holding insurance papers, wallets, 760 page Thomas Pynchon paperbacks and other thinner objects. One feature I do like a lot is a retractable hook in the front of the seat that is great for holding bags between your legs. You can get some groceries or do some shopping and not worry about holding bags on the handle bars. The last place to carry things is the platform behind the seat. This is good if you have a couple of cords to tie things down with or you can get (for some more $$) a lockable truck to mount on it.
As for repairs, we did have to get a new gas line hose ($5) and routine maintenance but nothing else has been bad. I try to drive it all the time, but it really is my wife's so I keep thinking I need one. Also my wife loves the her matching helmet. With her W.W.I aviator goggles she is the coolest person on the road.