It is actually a good bit faster for most types of static content, including html. It also handle SSL a little better, less of a pain to setup
Another big advantage is that you can use mod_jk to connect to a tomcat instance running on a different box, or boxes. This allows you to run Apache on a lower end machine and put Tomcat on a box with more memory, processors, etc...
Tomcat works fine standalone if you don't have high usage or do anything really heavy. So, it really depends on what you need.