I know some margarines are vegan but not sure if they are all that great for you.
My understanding is that the health concern with margarine is that it contains trans fat, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease and other serious health issues (see the link). Consumption of saturated fat (found in butter) is generally thought to be linked to cardiovascular disease as well, but trans fat definitely seems to be a whole lot worse and I think you're right to avoid it.
Given that trans fat is so bad, it's not surprising that many butterlike vegetable fat spreads are made free from trans fat. At least in the UK there are lots of nice trans-fat-free vegan spreads that are clearly labelled as such. Perhaps you'll be able to find something along those lines where you are.
I haven't found any such non-dairy spread here in Chennai but I generally use coconut oil mixed 1:1 with extra virgin olive oil as a substitute for butter (or ghee).
On pancakes though I prefer peanut butter and "banoffee sauce" which I make by blending ripe banana with jaggery (coconut sugar or brown sugar will do)...