I'm only a lvl 20 warden, but I can assure you that if you want to solo early game, warden is a great class to do it. I like this class since it is the closest to a monk class that I can get without having to switch to another game and pay for the class.
My warden is geared for melee because I'm not real big on casting. My spells are a great defense, but between my pet being a meat shield and my warden clawing away rapidly at my targets, I enjoy my class a lot. It's always smart to put points into at least 1 healing spell for survival sake.
My only real drawback about the warden is the mana consumption. If you use a staff or spear, mana is going to dry up VERY quickly. Claws will save you a lot of mana in the long run but it will still dry up if you focus on strength and not so much perception (post 3.0).
Wardens can be a life line when in a pinch if your primary healer takes a dive during a raid, but should never be your primary healer. Not to mention by having a warden in the party, you also add somewhat of another tank in the party.
Wardens aren't for everyone though. take your time on choosing your class. It's should be a reflection of your playstyle. I started playing as a scout because I wanted a rouge character but I despise ranged combat. I,then, made a warrior and have it still but only play it every so often. The energy dwindles so quickly, it drives me nucking futs. If you time your attacks right, your energy will hold out.