Another positive thing is you dont have to muck about folding said hakama ..this in itself is a bonus.
Ah, I quite enjoy folding my hakama. I never used to but lately, and as I do iaido as well, I take good care of both my hakama, there's something calming about it at the end of a class.
Although we wear ours pretty much from early stages it is not a prerequisite and not all juniors wear them but the choice is there. I personally like to wear mine even though I pretty much suck at everything! (except maybe tenkan-ushiro sonkyo)