Pros: produce 70% of our energy needs
Cons: pay back on investment takes time
We have had solar panels for 8 years on our So. Cal home. Due to a factory defect in our old Kyocera panels, the BP 350's were installed last spring. They produce very well from March until November, much better than our old panels (30% more), cutting our electric bill to $420 for the year in a hot region and reducing our carbon footprint a lot. They have been very boring, really. No maintenance other than a wash down 3 times per year. Because they are on the back roof of our home, neighbors don't even know we have them.
If you are committed to your home and do not plan to leave, solar is a wonderful investment if you live in a sunny location. BP's are sure-fire (our old panels were Kyocera -- not the best, really). Be sure to reduce your electricity use around the home FIRST -- that is, use CFC's, get a front-loading washer, replace the old fridge, recycle the garage fridge, add a programmable thermostat, and buy a clothes line. These changes will make a huge difference before you go solar...and really make more sense economically than adding panels right away. Pay back takes about 7 years if you get tax rebates or tax credits. Oh..and make sure a certified professional does the work. They are quick and have insurance, a very important factor when anybody works on your roof. Not only that, you will be contributing to our new "green" labor force!