Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Nice appearance
Consolas has a good appearance and character without being too distracting.
Pro Can display a lot of text due to narrow width
Consolas is really narrow compared to most monospace fonts. The more narrow each symbol, the more text you see on the line.
Pro Differentiation can be easily made between alike characters
There is good overall disambiguation of similar-looking characters in Consolas. For example, there are slashed zeroes, meaning the number "0" can be differentiated from the letter "O".
Pro Available for Windows and OS X
The font is available on machines running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, as well as part of Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. Otherwise it can be downloaded from Microsoft's homepage. It can also be set up on OS X machines with instructions on how to do it available here.
Pro Includes a large number of unicode ranges
Consolas supports 30+ unicode ranges including Greek, Cyrillic, and Thai for a total of 2735 glyphs.
Pro It reads so smooth
This font reads so smooth that it actually feels annoying to see it being treated as a programming font. For god's sake, don't treat it like a programming font, because this is the best general-use sans-serif font in my opinion. The humanist letterforms and the balanced monospace design are surely a great combination. Not to mention, unlike many other fonts, Consolas is the one to get character shapes "right". The "support bars" design on i and l allows for comfortable text reading unlike the abstract curvy design on some other monospaced fonts. And the r is also done properly, it curves all the way down.
Pro Supports patch that adds Powerline symbols
Consolas can be used with the vim plugin Powerline if the following patch is applied: Patch.
Pro Includes true italics
There are true italics for this font, compared to obliques with most other monospaced fonts.
Pro Writing/reading text in LaTeX
When writing and reading text in LaTeX text editor, the content is code and text. Code can be read in other fonts, but reading main text in programming fonts other than Consolas can get you frustrated and irritated.
Con Font size can't be changed gradually
Letter height is the same for 9 and 10, and for 11 and 12 pt. When switching from 10 to 11 pt, letter height changes abruptly (whereas line height changes gradually). This makes it impossible to choose exact letter height on a standard display. Size can't be set to 10.5 pt, for example.
Con Not free
Consolas costs 129€ for personal use, but you can get it for free (as in beer) bundled with some free MS products (example).
Con Poor legibility with small font-sizes on non-hidpi screens
Consolas in the 9 to 13 pt range is hard on the user's eyes with any monitor that's 1080 p or below.
Con Small 'L' is too similar to digit 1
You can tell the difference when they are close together, but when used apart, it can be a bit hard.
Con Highly aliased with ClearType
Consolas is specifically designed to work with ClearType antialiasing, so it becomes highly aliased when ClearType is not turned on. This can be alleviated to a degree with any basic grayscale anti-aliasing.
As an OpenType relative of Consolas, Inconsolata works well without ClearType (Inconsolata-g being the most popular variant).
Con Italic font is very different
The italic font (often used for comments) feels jarringly different to the regular one - especially on the "g" and "f" and "l" (lowercase L) glyphs.