My biggest issue with Monk always came down to how it was changed pretty much drastically just around the open Beta; if memory serves.
I could never figure out why the description didn't really match the gameplay. The way Monk was described in the game, on this site, etc. seemed completely different from the game's actual play. In the descriptions, it sounded all the world like it was a different style of melee, a more planned attack, in a sense. Sort of like how Guild Wars worked it's Lead, Off-Hand, Dual Attack skills into the way the Assassin profession worked. That sort of pre-planning (not hard, chess tournament thinking; but on the fly, instinctive thinking) prior to a fight.
In practice I basically felt no different from a Barbarian. It was basically run up, attack it, use *insert skill here*. While that can pretty much be used to describe everything, lol, what I'm getting at is that there was none of the weaving of combinations and attacks into the mix. Moving from one skill, into another, into another, changing as the situation arises and reacting accordingly.
With the Barbarian, I feel exactly like I should. Large, tough, dominating with sheer presence and martial strength. I run in, I crush whatever stands in my way by taking whatever is in my hands and pushing it through its face. The skills compliment that.
With the Monk, I feel pretty much no different from the Barbarian, except that it doesn't fit the character. I run up, I punch things, and use some skills to survive. The end result is that there is none of that weaving of attacks or fluidity.
So I went 'searching for answers' in a sense and discovered that, prior to the Open Beta, Monk operated drastically different. There WAS an actual combo system in place and what have you, but it was changed to bring it's play style more to the level of, well, Barbarian. The issue was that the description was never altered to fit that and some of the Spirit Gen skills still operated loosely to the old idea, but are nothing more than 1, 2, 3.
That change, I think, is what really put Monk in the position its in, when it comes to skills. It was designed with the idea of being its own identity, but brought down and, essentially, homogenized to keep it as simply to pick up and play as Barbarian. Monk is basically suffering from an identity crisis.
On a side note, it explains why Combination Strikes feels so oddly out of place. Needing to use multiple spirit generators to pull off a slight increase in attack power with such a short duration? In the old system Monk had, it fit perfectly. As it stands now, it looks completely worthless, at worst, and unmanageable at best.
Simply my thoughts on it.