I'd prefer an agile, cloth / leathery look for monk. It wouldn't be very "realistic" in such sense that a monk who relies on agile and quick attacks would walk around with enough plate to make a freaking Boeing.
You can't have a heavy armor like the Barbarian can. The Barbarian is a pretty simple brute force kinda character. The monk is way faster. Heavy armor can be handled by the Barbarian's physique, and would have little affect on his speed, whereas heavy armor on the Monk would slow him down. Light armor suits the monk, while heavy armor suits the Barbarian.
Heavy armor on a class like the Monk is pretty out of the question. The class is lightweight, fast, and utilizes his hands as weapons. Why would he choose to put alot of reliance on heavy armor? It'd only slow him down and move away from what he believes.
They could give him some sort of metal gloves? If anyone have played Fallout they know what I mean
I think eventually he'll need some sort of reinforcement on his hands, and I think its gonna look awesome. Metal gloves would be one way to go, but quite possibly some sort of armor that resembles the way the Marine in the SC2 trailer uses the suit's hands. Of course I don't want technology and all that trash, but perhaps some sort of play on that using magic and inventiveness.
Some sort of gauntlet you mean? Thats what I had in mind, but for higher levels I'd like it to take up much of the arm as well. That would look so monstrously epic, just seeing him club things to death.