Pros: beautiful, sweet, docile, wonderful mothers, great producers of brown eggs
Cons: not enough colors readily available in the US!
Every year, my elementary school would have a hatching project with chicken and duck eggs. It is one of the only things I remember from such a tender age. My sister, three years behind me, also got to experience the hatching project, and won a buff orpington chick out of it.
Knowing what I now know about chickens, I would never have raised her the way we did, but back then we knew no better. She had no coop, no flock mates, and no nest box. She DID have a 45lb dog for company and protection though. In the winter, Sandy (the dog) would snuggle under warm blankets. "Stupid Bird" as my dad called her (who was not so dumb as her name suggested), would climb up on top of the dog, and snuggle down in the blankets for warmth.
She was an absolute joy to have around. She came when she was called, knew all kinds of neat tricks, and was a fantastic egg layer. She lived in that yard for 9 years before my dad got a job with the state department, and we could not take her with us. By age 9, she had developed quite the set of spurs, but she still gave us a couple of eggs a week.
If you want a big, fluffy, beautiful bird with an absolutely charming personality, and wonderful propensity for egg production, Orpingtons are the way to go!
Just remember, different lines of birds will be different in personality, build, and egg production! I still keep orpingtons in my flock, and some of my most memorable birds are my wonderful buff orptingtons.