I'm in the middle of a bathroom remodel (tear-out done), and the next step is to choose a tub. From a materials perspective, what are the pros and cons of using a cultured marble tub? For instance, resistance to scratching and chipping, noise, color-fastness over time, etc.
I'll defer to the experts, but in the meantime, this link may be helpful in describing the basic pros and cons of the various tub options (scroll down the page to see the pro/con breakdown). From what I could find, the material itself is quite resilient against damage, mold, and color fading. That being said, the largest objection has been personal preference as some people consider cultured marble to look "dated".
I have a cultured marble kitchen sink so I guess my experience is relevant. It is noiseless (unlike a stainless steel one would), looks as cools as a stealth bomber (much cooler that a stainless steel one would), can be washed no-problem.
Surely there're drawbacks - I always fear dropping a heavy fryinng pan onto it and crash it this way and obviously I remember to never use any acid-based compounds on it. IMO acid-based compounds can be easily avoided and fear of crashing is mostly subjective - likely something heavy needs to be dropped from a reasonable height to cause real damage. Other than that I don't see any drawbacks so far.
Just a note for anyone who stumbles across this question in the future: my research turned up several reports that cultured marble should not be cleaned with any type of abrasive cleaner (i.e. Comet or other common "bathroom" cleaners). It is a relatively soft material, and will scratch more easily than acrylic, porcelain, etc. However, scratches can also be polished out.