I've raid tanked on a Pally and DK and instance tanked on a Druid prior to my Brewmaster becoming my main.
I am really taking all of the good info to heart as I try to build my Brewmaster.
So I like the active mitigation. I find that I actually mitigate MORE than I would as a better geared Pally or Druid or DK and am only second to a well played DK in Healing Required due to the self-heal abilities and active mitigation. I have limits as a clicker (have to be due to hand tremors, Service Connected Disabled Vet) which puts me in a bind on fights like Will of the Emperor (sometimes a finger will twitch and start me in the wrong direction which if you've tanked that fight, you know that starting in the wrong direction can really bork you for the entire sequence), but overall, I've enjoyed the class very much. As a former Network Engineer, I enjoy that I have to play well to see results.
That said, I think that while gearing, that the margins are too close. An undergeared DK doesn't have the razor thin margins at the same gear levels that I've experienced on this Monk. I know that once I get better gear that I'll be able to balance stats better.
Still, I'm sitting below 12 energy/sec, hit capped, just below 7.5 exp and 4.4k haste about 2.5k each crit and mastery. I've got 3 blues. I'm looking into getting the 496 gloves crafted as I write this. The gloves don't fix it, though.
I've seen some fine rotation/priority lists that really only work for 14 energy/sec and theorycrafting that works IF you can reforge to 15 expertise. However, even if I reforge everything, I'm still below 12% exp and my energy would completely go into the tank.
I guess I'm more asking about how to balance BEFORE I get the gear that allows for the balancing or various tanking philosophies discussed.
Also, in these various rotations, I don't see any room for expel harm or the 2nd Tier talent usage (Chi Wave, Zen Sphere, Chi Burst) and those do a fairly decent job at reducing the Healing Required which I track using Skada.
I guess I'm just feel that I'm at that tweener stage where I can't utilize the fully raid geared raid tank philosophies/priorities/rotations and I'm beyond "leveling", so 6 bosses into the normal raid, I find that I'm stuck on a hard hitting boss doing fine until I make a slight mistake and then I'm done, punched hard in the face. As I posted in another thread, I think I understand now why THAT is. I won't go into that here.
Having played Ele since TBC and Prot Pally since 2.1 when we had to balance Defense as a stat and use spell power weps as a tank to keep threat, I'm used to specs that require tinkering to get right. I'm okay with doing that.
I just am seeing a gap. I don't think it is a skill gap as I empirically am mitigating in raw dmg numbers as well as net required healing numbers better than other better geared tanks around me on most fights. Could certainly be a skill gap. But seeing as I can't even get to 15% expertise no matter what I do even if I wanted to embrace the max EB uptime philosophy, I'm thinking it's a gearing issue. If that's the case, am I just stuck or is there a way to bridge? Am I just missing something?\
edit: That's my Brewmaster, btw. I realized I didn't have a parse. Looking for one now. Our officer who logs parses has been out, so not sure if I have a parse. If I do, I'll add it.