I was looking through the 3.5 Monster Manual, and started noticing something. Some monsters had a 'This monster as a character' section, apparently telling the players how to adjust their stats to become said monster. I was blown away. Then I realized that all monster stats were treated as if they were actual characters, including the base attack bonuses, feats, and even level adjustments for starting as that monster (if my understanding is correct). As if the writers of the book wanted you to be able to play as almost anything shown in the MM, even when there isn't an actual 'This monster as acharacter' section.
Is my understanding of the writer's intent correct? And if yes, how can you complete the starting stats of monsters who don't have their own 'This monster as a character' section (that is, finding starting ability bonuses, recommended class, and so on.)?