Pro: Unlike many of my colleagues, my research (while the specific work I do is not entirely "cool") falls within a field that is exciting to a broad, non-specialist audience. When I gave a guest lecture recently, I had to leave quite a bit of time for questions because my students were so excited to find out more. I get strangers in coffee shops overhearing my conversations about my research and asking me to tell them more about my field.
Con: I research in a field where not only do people care about the history, but where everyone has a strong opinion. Or a conspiracy theory. And where there are acres and acres of films, documentaries, books and websites, many of which perpetuate dangerous misconceptions. This morning I was getting up to leave a coffee shop with a friend of mine -- who is a Canadian historian -- when the men at the next table asked me questions about a.) whether Hitler was attempting to assassinate the Pope, and b.) whether Hitler was trying to re-write the Bible. They then informed me, in a matter-of-fact manner, that Hitler's erratic behaviour in his last several years was because of syphilis.
Pro: I work in a field that gives me so many teachable moments, with general people on the street.