"Disadvantages - Higher temps - CPU might come off when removed"
OP, pay close attention to that point because it does happen and can knacker things up. I've had a few chips break pins because a thermal pad has welded the heatsink and CPU together and the CPU's literally been torn out of the socket as I've tried to remove the heatsink.
Given that thermal grease works better than pads every time I strongly recommend you go down this route from the get-go.
Anymore opinions or insights would be great too..!!!
If using the stock HSF and not planning to put on a substancial overclock, stock with factory applied thermal compound should work fine. If the system will be OC'd the stock HSF/thermal compound will have limitations. A high performance aftermarket HSF as well as thermal compound will do you well in that situation. Also, having a case and case fans that provide adequate fresh airflow across the MB chips and CPU will help with system cooling . The stock fans do a reasonablly good job cooling the 45nm chips, but much better is available.
Well, thermal pads are what Intel used on socket 478, at least that's what I saw. But not the modern stock HSF's. Remember, those hard thermal pads on the 478. I used a plastic scrapper to get some of them off. A knife? A thermal pad is a physical piece of 'tape' for lack of a better word. Thermal grease is a compound that wipes off, not 'peeled' off in one piece or pieces.