First climb it with gear to get a feel for it, to know what you're up against, and to see if you really want to risk it. I found it enjoyable to climb the West Slabs with gear. Typically I would put 2 or 3 pieces in per 200 foot pitch. This gave me the safety I was looking for. Know that there is plenty of loose rock. That smear you thought was solid could very well slip out from under you. A good thing is that as your legs tire, the angle of the slabs lessen.
I recommend against soloing, but it is sooo tempting and appealing!
Climbing it roped first is a good idea. How hard the route is depends on the path you take. If I remember correctly, towards the right was a bit smoother/harder then leftish. This is after you have reached the very bottom of the wall, scrambled a bit to turn right and continue, and gone several hundred feet up the gully talus.
Its tons of fun. One advantage of pitching it out; you are forced to stop, look around, and enjoy the scenery every 200 feet or so.
My wife and I took two female friends up it last Fall. Just me and three cute ladies climbing around on a big, beautiful face.
Scoping it first is probably a good idea, but not necesary. If you feel you are ready for such a challenge...hit it, it's a fantastic 4th class route. I had never done it, and climbed it in aproach shoes in a little under an hour. Granted one spot had my full attention, but most of the climb is very positive, and again, you can make it easier if you start feeling exposed. I really enjoyed the uninterupted moving up such a pretty face. That being said, I wasn't always out on the most exposed parts...and if you should blow, make no mistake...you're gonna go a LONG way.This is the beauty of climbing....challenges and adventures based on assesing ones own personal skill level. I found it to be great...and I am just an average Johnny 5.10. Test those holds though. Be safe.