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I have read and watched both all the way through and yeah, stick with the manga. It's pacing is better, the artstyle is better (imo), and you'll avoid all the copious amounts of filler.
Part 1 of Naruto the filler was at least avoidable and usually didn't get put in with regular canon content, in Shippuden however the filler ranges from full episodes to adding it in with canon content in an episode. And to watch the series all the way through while avoiding filler you'll need a guide (added in the link to show how much filler there is), and like I said some of that filler can even be in some canon episodes anyway; it's actually pretty annoying. I'd say the only reason to watch the anime version is if you want to see certain fights or emotional scenes animated, cause some of them are cool/sweet in that regard, or just watch the first part of the anime instead and stick with the manga afterwards.
My thoughts on Naruto personally is just meh, the first part of the anime and as well as the manga as a whole I gave a 6 since it's pretty watchable/readable in general, for Shippuden I gave a 5 because of said filler; the reason I didn't go lower though is cause of said cool and emotional scenes at times. Though there are other shounen that I have watched/read (or are currently watching/reading) that I think are better, imo at least.
I've both seen and read it! Enjoyed both even if I fell out of the series halfway into Shippuden. The anime was good and really brought the series to life in the nicely-animated episodes, and others were always amusing to watch and birthed some memes lol (like the iconic Sasuke breathing fire frame from a Chuunin exam arc episode). The manga art style was really sleek and nice, and I admire Kishimoto for putting all the work into it for so long. I'd still recommend watching some of the anime and maybe skipping fillers though, it really is a whole different experience and was so amusing to see all these silly jokes and cool fight scenes with music and voice.