Pros: Looks, playability and price
OK, I'll admit it: I bought the thing because John and George each had one. Here's the thing though: if you're going for the Beatle's/Lennon sound, the Casino's are not the one-trick-pony that the Rickenbacker's are. With the Epi's you can play these styles (at least): blues, swing, rockabilly and, of course, Beatles. Heck, I even played some Gin Blossoms with this axe and it sounded right! The Ricky's let you play...well, the Beatles--maybe some Tom Petty.
One thing I must tell you: if you plan on using a stomp box with this thing, approach it with caution. I recently purchased a Digitech RP200 and most of the factory settings that include distortion induce horrible feedback--and that's with the guitar's volume knobs all the way down. You're far better off getting your distortion from an overdrive channel on your amp. I was able to get some nice "Setzer-ish" distortion on my Fender Blues DeVille without feedback by using the bright channel.
Overall, this guitar plays very well, has a fairly thin neck, and a nice low action with no buzzing. It holds its tuning quite well--in fact, I just picked it up after playing in a live situation from four nights ago and it's still in tune. If you're looking at this as strictly a rockabilly-type instrument, bite the bullet, spend the few extra bucks and have the factory whammy installed.
One last thing: don't be silly and pay $600 or more for this guitar. I got mine for $450 (add another $100 for case and shipping) from usedrockgear.com. I phoned in the order on a Tuesday and it arrived at my door--well packed and safe and sound--the next day. And no, I was not compensated by the dealer for this endorsement!