Quote from hvgotcodes
Do people typically use shields here? Do people replay sections just to level up before moving on?
Yes and Yes.
I think a shield is a must have for a monk. Deadly Reach/Keen eye & MOE Hard target are huge Armor % buffs making that shield that much more useful.
It sound like you might need to slow down. You can never be too high a level for any fight. look for EX per kill gear and grind out a level or two before you move on. I know I personally didn't kill the Butcher until I was level 20. I would finish off the night by clearing a zone then stopping just short of the check point. Then when I log in the next day I had to clear it again to continue.