The other issue with the L298 vs the L293 is the pinout footprint of the L298; one row of pins is staggered by 0.05" so it won't fit a standard 0.1" spacing of a protoboard or a breadboard, without bending the pins (which can easily snap them off if not done carefully). If you are developing your own PCB, this isn't that big of a deal, but if you are prototyping on a breadboard or protoboard, it can be an issue.
I've found that these adaptors are very useful, though:
They are easy to solder up, and if you notice, the motor pins are kept opposite of the signal pins, which makes interfacing a lot easier. This guy also sells a PCB for mounting your own parts in place to build an L298 h-bridge module, if you already have such parts handy.
Yesterday, I was at my favorite junkyard when I found an interesting stepper driver board that looked like it used either a pair of L293 or SN754410 ICs on it; the board only drove a single stepper, though, at up to 2 amps (supposedly, based on what I read on the board). The chips were arranged side-by-side, and had a large heatsink mounted (bolted down) on top of them, so I couldn't see the parts to know for sure what chips they really were; I suspect the SN754410 because of the larger current rating (1 A vs 600 mA). It might have been some other kind of part, though (but the tale-tell weird middle ground/heatsink pins indicated that they were probably L293 or SN754410 chips).
I probably should've bought those boards - maybe next week...