I know I know.... it's no fun to use a shield. It takes forever to kill things and you don't get to see high numbers. But you know what? I'm loving using a shield in 1.0.3.
I hardly die in Act 3 when I'm using a shield. The only problem I have is that sometimes I will hit the enrage on rare packs since my dps is only 20k before soul harvest. Even if this happens... it'll happen after I've already killed 1-2 of the mobs so the next time will be easy.
There are a few things you need to know about using a shield though. Don't be afraid to re-equip your offhand if the fight calls for it. I typically always use my shield on white mobs since they still die quickly and it avoids any surprise deaths/soul vessel procs from ranged attacks. Once I hit a ranged group I decide if I'll need my shield or not. Some packs are easy to kite with no ranged abilities and you know you won't get hit... that's when I equip my offhand. Also, I've found that illusionist groups are easier if you use the offhand. I'll often hit the enrage if I try using my shield for those groups.
Affixes that are easy with shield:
Fast (unless it's a mob that normally hits really hard)
I play exactly like I do without a shield. I still kite, I still try to avoid being hit (although sometimes I'll knowingly take a ranged attack to do more dps) and I'll still run when they get close. Use common sense... if the attack will hurt a lot and you aren't at full... kite. Potions are key when you're fighting a difficult pack (one that will hit you a lot) and keep an eye on health globes. When things only hit you for 5-10k, health globes are VERY helpful.
It's a standard kite build that has jungle fort and soul harvest for healing. Soul harvest is important because your dps will be really low and you'll need the boost. Don't be afraid to use soul harvest at every opportunity... you aren't a glass cannon anymore.... it's not the end of the world if your cooldown is down for spirit walk when you need it. The extra dps + healing from soul harvest is worth that risk. The heals from hex and soul harvest are usually enough to keep me nearly topped off.
I don't have the best gear in the world. I don't use the RMAH (except for selling gear) and I haven't purchased anything expensive on the gold AH yet. I was able to get this with vit + resist all + int pieces mostly. My shield is just a blue shield (1k+ armor, 17% block, 70-80 resist all, 90 vit). I'd like to add some IAS and crit/crit damage but that starts to get really expensive. Once I get to 30-40k dps I think farming will be extremely easy.
So if you want to be less of a glass cannon but you don't want to go full tank... give a shield a try and play like you normally do! It's a lot safer (and therefore cheaper)
Tanking up in general is a great idea for this patch. It's been crazy how much the power level (in my mind at least) has shifted because of the fact that glass-cannon-keep-everything-off-the-screen-kiting builds should no longer be the norm. I was playing with my wizard friend (I had always envied their survivability before), and basically outclassing him all the way. Blizzard / Hydra always looked great when you're constantly running away from things, but going toe to toe with monsters I'd gladly take Hex / Horrify.
One question I would ask though, is if you think it's best to do act 3 if you're hitting enrage timers. With your stats, I think you could be rolling through act 2 at a much quicker pace, and only at the cost of 4% on your drop rate. My VQ / bats build is a little more bursty, but I can clear act 2 packs in about 15-25 seconds on average. I full cleared act 2 in a few hours yesterday, and ended up with 4mil in sales. Don't think I got too lucky, as it was spread out over about 4 items.
I've only hit the enrage twice and it was due to illusionist. I now know to just not use a shield for those packs and it shouldn't be a problem. I wanted to mention the enrage because depending on how much dps you have... certain packs may take awhile and you might need to increase your dps by dropping the shield. The best thing about using a shield is that you can change it at any time without resetting NV.
I don't like the idea of dropping back an act because it's more than a 4% dropoff since I care about the rates for lvl 62 and 61 as well which would make it about an 18% dropoff.