Pardot is one of the better marketing automation/nurturing product aimed at mid-sized businesses. It's greatest strength is its integration with Salesforce (which will be discussed more in "cons"). With relative simplicity, it can be connected to the CRM, so that contacts can easily sync two-ways, and even custom objects can be brought through for segmentation purposes with just a couple of clicks.
Tracking and automation is very well thought out and easy to use. The product has a straightforward method of tracking campaign results and attribution, all of which can then be pushed into Salesforce for comprehensive reporting on prospect-to-purchase management and measurement.
Pardot's greatest strength lies in its ease of use. No marketing automation software is going to be SIMPLE, but Pardot shines in the consistency between its many functions. Nothing feels tacked-on or different from other tools. If you can create a campaign, you can create a complex segmentation rule, and you can manage your social media posts, as it all works identically.
The marketing automation function, Engagement Studio, has gone through substantial recent updates and I consider it best-in-class for ease of use and functionality. If true automation is your #1 concern, this is a great choice.
Lastly, support is excellent. Salesforce Trailblazer is fantastic for self-guided-training, the documentation is up-to-date and accurate, and support tickets are answered promptly and knowledgeably. If you are experienced in systems of these sorts, you will quite likely not need to take advantage of any external training (or SF's accelerator options).
Pardot is a Salesforce product, and its integration is excellent, but it is just that - an integration. Pardot works like a third party service connected with Salesforce, as opposed to a native extension. Lists are synchronized, along with the sort of bugs and frustrations that come with bi-directional synchronization, and some Salesforce functions (notably custom objects) are not as fully fleshed out as one might hope. In some ways, other solutions do a better job synchronizing with Salesforce. That said, Pardot's setup is the simplest I've used, and having unified support for CRM and marketing automation is also a tremendous advantage when I do run into any hang-ups.
Also, while Pardot's feature set is great, some of its tools are in need of substantial upgrades to keep up with the competition. Its WYSIWYG email and landing page tools aren't responsive and are far outclassed in ease of use by Mailchimp and other lower cost options (although if you're comfortable with HTML and developing your own templates, it's not bad at all). It is progressively being updated and modernized, but it obviously takes time, and there can be minor frustrations when you see other tools that are smoother or more approachable. But I have never found this to set a limit on what's possible, only an opportunity for things to be faster and easier for less-expert users.