Not all shortsales will be this way, keep in mind. The best thing you can do is just like you are doing... Research. I have accually come up with some great shortsale info just from googling questions like "How to buy a short sale house." eHow has some great articles on short sales
The advantage is shortsales is they can save you anywhere form 10 to 25% of the market value of the home.
I would say the disadvantages would be the uncertainty....uncertainty as to how long the process will take, will the bank(s) agree to the purchase price and terms you have offered and lastly, whether it will even go through at all which depends heavily upon the agent and/or negotiator handling the file.
The advantages are getting the home you want and possibly getting a good or very good deal.
Best of luck,