This refers to items I find and items I craft. There are a lot of attributes on items from extra fire damage to strength to intelligence and it's hard to compare what I'm currently wearing with what I have in inventory. Are there should basic guidelines to follow for the monk? Should I focus more on dexterity rather than strength?
Highly depends on your playstile, however i myself prefer the following.
Weapons: 1. Life on hit (preferably an amount of 700+, or 300+ and an socket) 2. Attack speed (the more the merrier) 3. Dexterity
Life on hit is self explainatory, att speed is second due to fater heals through loh, and dex increases dodge/dmg (and armor with seize the initiative).
Ring 1. Life on hit (preferably an amount of 200+) 2. Attack speed (the more the merrier)
Everything else depends on your liking. You could look for more resistances if you need them, more vit if your hp is low, more dex for obvious reasons. Best case scenariois if you find decent amounts of all of them.
Amulet Almost exactly the same as an ring, however you cam probably set the life on hit to 300+. This is highly dependable on your other gear, but it could be better to look for %life instead of vit if your healh pool is large enough.
Equipment selection is dependent upon personal preference and intended usage. The monk's primary attack attribute is Dexterity.
Relevant information can be found in this question, but essentially each stat has a use outside of damage calculation:
Elemental attack stats are useful if you can discern enemy elemental affinity.
Other stats to be concerned about are Money Find and Rare Find which are useful for farming cash or rare equips/components respectively.
Attack rate increases your DPS, but more importantly it decreases the amount of time between attacks which is important for attacks with effects like stunning the enemy for example.
Health for each kill or health from orbs increases will serve to keep you healthy.
XP bonuses from kills will help you level faster.
Spirit regen is useful if you use your abilities a lot.
Movement speed is extremely useful for attacking and exploring and running away.
Straight damage or armor increases are very straightforward to understand and can be compared mostly straight across against primary attack stat and Strength for the most part.
Subjective opinion to follow:
Personally, I don't worry about it too much. I try to boost magic or money find as much as possible in order to find better base stat equipment and/or materials. As far as other stats, my personal preference is to boost Dex because it boosts both attack and evasion. I try to raise my attack whenever possible because if you kill the enemies before they hit you, your defense wasn't really helping. I also like to keep some movement speed boost on because it is extremely useful.