It all depends on how much you want to spend on your laptop. An SSD as opposed to a mechanical (RPM) HDD will cost you significantly more but obviously offer massive performance gains. An SSD is by no means essential at this stage and I think the vast majority of computer users still use mechanical drives. As I mentioned, it all depends on the price and how much performance you want. I know if I had the money I would have one in my desktop
Not that I am aware of, no. I believe they are in fact less prone to break-down and damage hence loss of data because of the fact they have no mechanical moving parts. There were question marks over whether they were 'stable' enough for day to day usage but I think as the technology has progressed those have passed.
I think if you aren't on a strict budget it would be a good idea to go for one Or wait to see what other people have to say.
When you get down to it:
-Faster (read better than HDD, write the same or better but super low latency)
-more reliable (as moody said, no moving parts)
-use less power
-cost/GB much higher. The largest drives I have seen are 256GB. I think they have 512GB drives for $2 grand now. Compare to 250GB HDDs pretty much phased out in desktops and on their way out in laptops.
So really it comes down to do you want the space or the speed and reliability?
$60 for a 250GB 2.5" HDD
$800 for a 256 corsair SSD
If you have the money, there are no cons to an SSD. There used to be firmware issues but I believe they are all gone now.