1. focus on quests, they will give you the most exp. Depending on your playstyle, you may find different quests more fun to grind on, just pick one and grind that one till you get a good level and then move on. For example, I leveled from 59 to 60 in a little over an hour by just doing hell belial over and over again - didn't matter if i did it with solo or party.
2. quick tip on gear - using the auction house, always spend little to update your gear every few levels or so. Don't drop 50k gold on an item that looks godly, at least until you reach level 60. The reason behind this is that items tend to scale up quite rapidly and if you spent 50k gold to get a 200 damage weapon at level 40, you could have spent 10k gold to get an item of similar or higher damage at level 45. Given you don't already have a huge stash of cash from another higher level char, and that this is your first and main char that you are leveling, conserve on your AH gold usage - updating gear with little gold and frequently is most optimal.
FARMING 100K+ GOLD PER HOUR (AND GETTING A TON OF RARE DROPS FOR SALVAGING)
(I say for salvage above because these will be low level equips that you won't be using, unless you reroll another char)
THE BUILD --> http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#Tagijk!aYc!caabbc
1. The spirit regen is pretty necessary as it will be hard to get enough actual spirit regen hits in.
2. The increased cyclone range plus the air cyclone from your mystic ally plus the area of effect damage from your level 60 Mantra of Conviction rune will basically plough down everything in your pathway before you can even touch it. And for those occasional jailers, I got 7 sided attack, but it's really up to your choosing of style.
3. Fist of Thunder added with the teleporting ThunderClap rune will help you teleport and move much faster - adding quite a bit of mobility and letting you get those few spirit generator hits in as well. And notice how I put it on my right mouse key, this allows me to not even point and click on the monsters, I just wave my mouse button to where I want to move, and if a monster happens to be at that location, I teleport 6 yards and kill that monster even faster while increasing my mobility. I'm pretty sure bot gold farmers will be utilizing stuff like this, as the bots will never die and there are a few maps where it's not really randomly generated but uses set pathing (ie. the place where you have to help lift the 3 catapults in ACT 3)
4. And of course, get run speed since that's pretty much all that matters. =D
1. Get any 3 items from the AH that gives 7 yard pick up radius and plus DEX or plus gold drop - you can also get rings and ammy for your Templar follower for extra gold drop - just make sure you have decent enough gear to roll through nightmare.
2. Get 2 weapons for increased attk speed (just for the slight added clearing time) and make sure to get 2 weapons that both have spirit regen. You already have 5 spirit regen plus your templar follower spirit regen, but given that you'll barely be able to hit anything to regen spirit, having more spirit regen is just more convenient.
3. And get boots that have + movement speed if possible. Literally, you'll be golding as fast as you can run in some areas. Rolling with 5k+ dmg average lvl 60 gear in a lvl 40 Nightmare area will be basically like turning on God mode.
1. Get Templar with all health regen skills - you'll be basically running through the whole map so whatever follower you get, would hardly be doing any damage at all, so just get Templar for utility
1. With your 5000+ damage that you got from sub 20k gold level 60 items from the AH will allow you to literally run through the map in Nightmare. I'd say choose act 3 and 4 as they ahve the most aggressive mobs an densely packed. From then on, it doesn't really matter where specifically as long as your having fun doing your gold grind.
Using the above method, I farmed a little over 100k gold in an hour (about 115 gold after I sold all the rares I found - took roughly an hour to fill up my entire inventory full of level 30-45 rares and had to come back to town anyways - rares sell for around 400g each rather than like blues that sell for only 150 so that's another plus). With the sheer amount of monsters you kill, picking up just the rares would be the most optimal way of going about it, and I got to plow through most of Act 3 story for fun as well receiving the quest gold along the way.
So there ya go, that's how you gold farm at 100k gold an hour while easily get to level 60 (you should be able to get to level 60 in under 30 hours if you don't waste time like I do and actually focus on repeating the key quests while doing the other ones just to get to move along the storyline. - I can't give names of which quests to repeat as I only found this out later on when I was level 55+ but some that comes to mind nonetheless is the ACT 3 cataplut quests, killing Zukor (or whatever that guy's name is) in Act 2, and killing Belial in Act3 - and of course all these quests in whatever difficulty mode you are. The quests that are the easiest for Monks may differ slightly from other classes.)