Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 week to 1 month
* Easy to setup and use.
* Part of the large arduino family of development boards.
* Code is freely portable between different arduino boards.
* Arduino IDE is available at no cost for a variety of platforms
* Can be programmed through the arduino API for portability, or hardware optimized speed.
* ISP pins are fitted.
None that I can think of.
The 2560 chip is still the same as the small 168 or 328 model, but with much more memory and I/O hardware. Due to this the speed of the system will not improve vastly by using a larger chip, but you can fit much more functionality into a single module.
If you really need speed there is the Arduino due.
Optimal beginners development board, if you need a lot of I/O or program memory.
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