JohnMu has advised against using canonicals for pagination. The reason being it acts as a kind of "bot redirect", e.g. the Googlebot hits the page, sees the canonical, and then doesn't bother with the rest of the page. This causes problems with crawling and PR flow, as Google doesn't reach items / pages down the list of pagination.
The approach I've been using, and which seems to work well, is meta noindexing everything after page one. The pages canonical to themselves (in case someone externally links to them), but not to page 1.