All you points are excellent and right on with how many people think. What I have foudn is the Cisco CCNA certification is a great certification as a compliment to their current skills. So usually the person going after a CCNA certification has a Microsoft or other certification already. I think that is the perfect student to self study the Cisco CCNA certifcation for all the points you mentioned such as costs, time, hands-on, etc.
So if you have really no computer experience such as Microsoft, +/Net+ or such...a class would be a better solution for you. But if you have a base understanding of TCP/IP and also you have some computer networking certification...then I really think the self study way with hardware is the way to go as it is much cheaper, you can do it at your pace, you own the equipment and can train whenever you want...and it is a good excuse to get away from the husband/wife and kids!