Your comment to James is telling and can help us lead you in the right direction:
My work and lifestyle will be the same either way, as I said.
This is all about how it goes "on the books." [emphasis mine]
As an independent consultant myself, when I hear something like "the work will be the same either way", I think: "Here thar be dragons!". Let me explain:
If you go the independent contractor route, then you better act like one. The IRS (and the CRA, for Canadians) doesn't take lightly to people claiming to be independent contractors when they operate in fact like employees.
Since you're not going to be behaving any different whether you are an employee or a contractor, (and assuming you'll be acting more like an employee, i.e. exclusive, etc.), then the IRS may later make a determination that you are in fact an employee, even if you choose to go "on the books" as an independent contractor.
If that happens, then you may find yourself retroactively denied many tax benefits you'd have claimed; and owe penalties and interest too. Furthermore, your employer may be liable for additional withholding taxes, benefits, etc. after such a finding.
So for those reasons, you should consider being an employee. You will avoid the potential headache I outlined above, as well as the additional paperwork etc. of being a contractor.
If on the other hand you had said you wanted to maintain some flexibility to moonlight with other clients, build your own product on the side, choose what projects you work on (or don't), maybe hire subcontractors, etc. then I'd have supported the independent contractor idea. But, just on the basis of the tax characteristics only I'd say forget about it.
On the financial side, I can tell you that I wouldn't have become a consultant if not for the ability to make more money in gross terms (i.e. before tax and expenses.) That is: your top line revenues ought to be higher in order to be able to offset many of the additional expenses you'd incur as an independent. IMHO, the tax benefits alone wouldn't make up for the difference.
One final thing to look at is Form SS-8 mentioned at the IRS link below. If you're not sure what status to choose, the IRS can actually help you. But be prepared to wait... and wait... :-/