Well as you pointed out, flight following is beneficial as it integrates you in with the flow of other controlled air traffic and, as ground controllers are tracking the progress of your flight, they can provide you with better situational awareness of traffic, weather, TFRs, newly introduced NOTAMs and also provide an additional resource in case of an emergency.
Flight following is not always available to a VFR pilot in controlled airspace, depending on controller resources available for traffic on flight plans.
One disadvantage for requesting flight following, particularly around major commercial hubs eg KLAX, KATL, etc, is that GA airplanes will often be vectored in order to conform with a controller's preferred traffic flow, which may add additional time onto a flight, even when the intended destination of your airplane is not within that airspace. This is one of the major reasons that pilots on VFR flights often don't contact controllers near Class C or Class B airports or run under the shelves of their airspace. This was the case with JFK Jr's aircraft on the night that it crashed - not due to a failure to request flight following but done so as a means to expedite their trip to KMVY.