Pros: Price, build quality, makes you want to ride your bike!
Cons: Higher rolling resistance than a road bike; not a criticism just a fact.
August 2004 I bought a Cypress DX for myself and a Cypress step through for my wife. It has been a year of ownership now and we could not be more pleased with these bicycles. The build quality (save for one issue discussed below) is excellent. The paint still looks as nice as the day I bought the bikes. The dealer (Cycle Sports - Doylestown, PA) offered a free basic maintenance course and I am able to easily maintain both bikes (lube, tire pressure, minor brake and derailleur adjustments).
The one issue (Cypress DX) that is being addressed now, as a matter of fact, deals with the bottom cassette. It was clunking and I knew that was not right. I took the bike back to the dealer and it is being repaired, under warranty, no trouble at all! The ladies model has been absolutely trouble free.
The grip shifters can be a bit finicky. On the DX the front derailleur needs to be at one setting for gears 1-4 and a click higher for gears 5-8...this is no big deal and has to do more with the close tolerances of manufacture than any quality issue...the minor adjustment is second nature.
On paved surfaces (we never go off road) the pedaling is smooth; the suspension just right (seat and front forks are suspended) and the handling true and accurate. I ride between 6-16 miles a day on the DX (typically 5 days per week) and the bike is never exhausting. True, it does not ride as easily as a good road bike (these are hybrids) but the wider tires, padded seat and suspension makes up for the higher rolling resistance. I would not want to race this bike...but riding our neighborhood and the local State Park is a joy! I was recently in Cambridge Massachusetts and rode the path along both sides of the Charles River (Boston and Cambridge side) which is approximately 15 miles and had no problem. I rode urban streets and the suspension cushioned the jolts and made the ride enjoyable.
Both my wife and I are seeing the benefits of these bikes in terms of our overall fitness. The Cypress is the first "good" bike she has owned and she loves the gearing, braking and handling. She was tentative about going quickly around the "sweepers" in our neighborhood but the bike has instilled confidence and she is enjoying riding it more each day!!! I have owned several road bikes and have to admit, sadly :) , that at 48 years old I was looking for comfort versus speed in a new bicycle!
The competition for these bikes was the Trek 7000 series. Giant does not, yet, enjoy the name recognition of Trek but I can tell you in all sincerity (I rode the Trek before buying the Giant) the Giant is, at the very least, the equivalent of the Trek and in most respects a bit better build and value.