I did this route about 5 years ago. Unlike Aaron, I did enjoy the towns too, although it was the scenic drive that made it worth while. I wish I had not lost the camera with the pictures on it. A good reason to back up or change the chip often and lock up the old one.
The views along this incredibly winding highway are indeed spectacular, but I do not like the small cities that litter the highway. I go from a gentle 45 mph to 5 as I drive through a town where the highway does not connect directly. It is the way of mountain highways, but I do not enjoy it. However, everything else is very pretty.