This question is a combination of theoretical-optimization and practical-optimization. In some games, I acknowledge that the monk can be a fun and flavourful choice. Unfortunately, looking at the rules, it seems that the monk requires the mercy of the DM to be effective.
This is also a question that can get very very heated. Therefore I am interested in only objective answers that use the 3.5 rules as found on the SRD and in the published books for 3.5 only by WotC. Statistical assessments are required to justify the realtive utility or lack of utility of the Monk.
Specifically, assuming a 3.5 game where the rules are considered to be interesting and worthy targets for optimization, please address these components when presenting evidence for the relative, objective, quality of the Monk class:
- Are there any situations that a monk can surpass another base-class character in, assuming a monk of 6th level?
- Are there situations that a monk can equal another base-class character's effectiveness at 6th level?
- What operational assumptions about the game need to be true to provide for a monk as viable character?
- Past 6th level enemies will commonly teleport, fly, and be incorporeal, and it is asserted that Monks simply have no way to deal with these enemies effectively, is this the case?
- The monk comes with Stunning Fist and high saves. Does this make her an appropriate character to deal with a spellcaster of the same level or a CR equivalent Fiend?
- Some, or even many, encounters will be non-combat, such as traps, physical obstacles, and puzzles. How does the Monk contribute to these encounters?
Please show your work. Answers without citations and statistical justification will be downvoted.