Pros: It is a beautiful piece of machinery.
Cons: I cannot fit my full-face helmet (XL) under the seat.
I just purchased a new 2006 Vespa LX150, the latest iteration of the ET4. The styling is different, more like the Vespas of old. If you go to Vespa's web page, you will see what I mean. I have been eyeing scooters for about two years and finally broke down and got one. I drove a motorcycle about 20 years ago, and have always missed the motorized two-wheeling. Vespa was my top choice when I first started looking, but I also considered some of the Japanese scoots, especially the Yamaha Vino 125. Last Saturday, I made the happy mistake of dropping by our local Vespa dealer in Chandler and drove off with a new red (the best color for a Vespa) LX150. Thought about the 50cc because at ASU, where I teach, you do not need a parking permit for it. But I also travel on some roads where the speed limit is 45 mph, and the little 50 would not keep up with traffic very well. The new Vespa 50cc machines are four-stroke, not the quick-off-the-line two-strokes like the ET2.
The Vespa is a lot of fun to ride. As a twist-and-go, it is great for city traffic. Last year, I finally gave up on manual transmissions in cars, realizing that the 21st century has arrived and automatic transmissions are much better than they were 20 years ago and much easier to deal with, especially in stop-and-go traffic, than a manual transmission. The same applies to motorcycles. I have read on countless web pages (I can't believe how much research I did on scooters!) about how many people leave their motorcycles behind and ride the scooter instead. It is easy to see why. These things are simple to operate, highly maneuverable in traffic, and quiet. I have no trouble beating cars off the line and changing lanes is a breeze. Unlike in cars, it is easy to see all around you.
All that said, I still use my bicycle on most days to commute to campus (about 7.5 miles). I can get here almost as fast, because I don't have to wait for traffic and I can ride my bike directly to my office. Plus it is an easy and enjoyable way to build exercise into my day (I'm not the gym rat type -- never understood the purpose of burning energy for no purpose other than to burn calories!). The fact that I am getting about a gazillion miles to the gallon equivalent on my bicycle and zero emissions helps, too. I did the math on bicycle versus car commuting. One person driving uses the equivalent in energy (BTU converted to calories) as 26,000 people cycling.
Jumping back down from my soap box, the Vespa is a blast to drive. It is a little unnerving riding with 2500 pound steel and glass cages around you, and I always watch my mirrors at a stop to see if someone does not see me (best to keep room between yourself and the car ahead in case you need to get out of the way). But if you stick to side roads with less traffic, the Vespa is pure fun.