The first and most important tip is to level your blacksmithing. Dump every resource available to you into blacksmithing. This will keep your gear current regardless of your drops in for the normal run through.
Dual wielding >>> 2-hander for my build. That's because spirit generation and auto attack speed increase so heavily with dual wielding. The extra weapon also provides you with an additional stat stick which translates to more damage on skill uses than a 2-hander as long as your off hand has appropriate stats.
Make sure to stack Dex over every other stat. Dex will give you 1.2 Armor per point plus dodge plus 1% more damage per point.
Here is the build I run. I will eventually swap out "transcendence" for "one with everything" once a get a single resist stacked for hell mode. At that point your gear will give you health per spirit spent and transcendence will be largely over-healing anyway.
Here is an explanation of the skill/rune choices:
First off, passives:
Resolve: this is the best passive out there for PVE. Decreasing all targets damage by 25% is huge!
Seize the initiative: Making your primary offensive stat also your primary defensive stat is a good thing. Stack dex and win with this skill. Also, with hard target from Mantra of Evasion, this further values dex to 1.2 armor per dex.
Transendence: this is very powerful in the first 2 run throughs. But it falls off in hell as the skill doesn't scale at all with your champion.
One with Everything: this becomes very powerful in hell as elemental damage sources become very prevalent. Stack a single resistance and grab this passive for the live!
Fists of Thunder: This is amazing for a dual wielder as it will allow you to literally stun lock groups of enemies with you primary attack while simultaneously whittling them all down. The spirit generation for this ability is also higher than any other primary.
Rune: Thunderclap: Adds AoE damage to boot but the big thing is the mobility this rune gives. It allows you to hop around the battlefield to position your self. You can also hop out of snares with this rune (probably a bug). Using this in combination with lash tail kick is great as it allows you to punt an enemy for focus and then hop back on to it to position your target safely away from a mob or into a trap. It makes your damage consistent and allows you to easily dodge projectiles by hoping to and enemy or box out of the projectile's path. In addition to keeping you from being kited as well.
Lash Tail Kick: This allows you to burst down swarms of enemies and keep from being swarmed. It also interrupts most enemy's swings allowing you to more predictably stun lock a group of swarming enemies and protects your flanks that Fists of Thunder leaves exposed. This is also a spamable spirit dump you can use to regen hp with transcendence and other similar effects.
Rune: Vulture Claw Kick: Converts the damage to fire which is not mitigated by armor and increases the damage % while maintaining the knockback.
Serenity: The most powerful defensive skill in the game IMO. It has a short CD, makes you CC immune for the duration, and also completely invulnerable. Its great for when you got an enemy you can't interrupt charging up a nuke or CC.
Rune: Peaceful Repose: makes serenity also heal you making it nice to no only mitigate incoming damage but refill your hp for once the invulnerability ends.
Sweeping Wind: This is an amazing fire and forget skill especially from Act 3 on. The damage to spirit efficiency gets nuts and running thunderclap nearly assures that the skill will never run out until the fight is over.
Rune: Bladestorm: Increases the damage of Sweeping wind 33%. What is not to love?
Seven sided strike: This ability is actually Serenity 2.0 in disguise. It makes you untargetable for the duration. Running any kind of transcendence, life steal, or on hit regen makes the skill also heal you. This is a great tool to dodge a bosses attack when serenity is spent.
Rune: Several sided strike: This makes Seven Sided Strike last longer for more invulnerability time. The skill also provides two more strikes (at 110% damage each) to make the skill do 999% damage (only a few percent behind sudden assault) but if sweeping wind is active, you'll do slightly more damage within the ability's duration. Also, this often will provide more effective damage than sudden strike in a crowd because of less tendency to overkill targets. It also works better with +hp per hit and other on hit stats.
Mantra of Evasion: 15% mitigation of the already reduced incoming damage is huge. Throwing it up at the beginning of an engagement and refreshing it before big nukes when serenity and 7SS are on CD is a life saver as well!
Hard target: Increasing your armor 20% makes you a tank! Couple it with sieze the initiative to make Barbs want to re-roll.
So this is the load out I've been using. I'm just getting into my second run through and never died in normal (Went into every boss fight blind and never even was close to having trouble. In fact, I did acts 3 and 4 without using a potion).