I'll update tomorrow. I have the 'old maps' as well! Great photos by the way.
The mountain is 5193m high. I surveyed it with DGPS in 2010.
As of September 2011, the improvements on the road from Zugdidi to Mestia were completed, the road is now widened and paved allowing for travel by marshrutka (minibus) to Mestia, in much less time, two hours or less. There are also plans to improve the road from Mestia to Ushguli, though I don't know when this slated to happen, or if it has already. I stayed with the Ratiani family in Mestia, and they were very helpful in arranging transport to Ushguli. In Ushguli, to save time/energy you may consider renting horses to carry you and/or your gear to the foot of the mountain.. this is very inexpensive. Happy travels!
The ascent is NOT easier from Georgian side. The easiest option is the right S pillar at 5B. I climbed and skied (what had snow) that in 2010. The 4B route is NOT 4B - I attempted it in 2011. Glacier retreat, steep ascents and re-ascents make it difficult and long, plus its illegal because you cross into Russian territory.
I gave up on that pretty fast. It used to a descent route, nowadays descending the S pillar is what people do.
As such, the 5A route from Russia is the easiest route.