I assume that when you say you are looking for opinions, you're really asking if it's a good idea to consider that. With that in mind, I'll just say this. That depends on your situation.
Lease purchase and an option are two different things. So I'll address one, then the other.
An option is where you pay a fee to the seller for an option to buy the property at a future date for a specific price. If you think that the price you are getting is less than what the property will be forth at that future date, an option can be a very good thing.
A lease purchase would mean you're renting. But some of your rent money is going towards down payment. Depending upon the language in the contract, you may actually be entered into a purchase and not just a lease. It could also be a lease though, where the agreed upon portion of your rent money is going toward down payment and is being held in escrow. Depending upon the language in the contract, you may or may not get all your money back should you either default on your lease, or decide at some future date you no longer want to lease it.
The best thing I can recommend is to consult an attorney. In the state of Illinois, Realtors can't act as attorneys and give you legal advice no matter how knowledgeable they may be. Unless they hold a license to practice as an attorney, they can get in lots of trouble for pointing you this way or that. So by all means, use a Realtor to help you find a place and negotiate the price. Especially in todays market, there are so many places to consider, you need that more than ever. But talk to a real estate lawyer about the ins and outs of a lease purchase with or without option to buy.
I know several attorney's in the Chicago area. If you need a referral, drop me a line.