[Updated: heirloom pants are available as of 5.0.1]
[Update: high-level enchants can now be placed on heirlooms. They scale to the wearer's level. In most cases, they are worse until level 60, after which they are better.]
I'm making this list partly for my own benefit, but I'm sure anyone planning to play a Monk will benefit from getting their gear together ahead of time. I am, however, making some assumptions about their stat needs, as I simply don't know.
My Assumed Stat Orders:
- DPS: Stained Shadowcraft Tunic - Enchant: Greater Stats
- Tank: Stained Shadowcraft Tunic - Enchant: Major Health
- Healer: Preened Ironfeather Breastplate - Enchant: Major Mana
While heirloom legs can be enhanced, all but one of the existing leg enhancements now have a character level requirement to remain active. Light Armor Kit is the only boost usable at all character levels, however the effect is negligible. I recommend not enchanting heirloom pants. If you do, enchants that normally soulbind items do not do so to heirlooms, so feel free to use the expensive ones.
- DPS/Tank: Burnished Warden Staff - Enchant: 2H Agility, Crusader or Blood Draining. This agility heirloom staff is new as of 5.0. Monks gain 1 AP per point of Strength, so Crusader offers about the same AP, but healing instead of crit. It's my opinion that Crusader will be better for leveling tanks, but 2H Agility is likely to be more popular. Blood Draining is available now that higher-level enchants can be used. It heals even more than Crusader, but offers no damage output.
- Healer: Dignified Headmaster's Charge - Enchant: Mighty Intellect or Spellpower. Spellpower gives more spellpower, but the crit from the intellect is likely to be very powerful at low levels due to the high conversion factor. I'd choose Mighty Intellect.
- DPS/Tank: Inherited Cape of the Black Baron - Enchant: Stealth
- Healer: Ancient Bloodmoon Cloak - Enchant: Superior Defense. The enchant is nearly worthless, but better than nothing.
So what else will you want/need for your new alt? Well, there's always bags. 16-slot Netherweave Bags are quite economical, albeit somewhat small. 22-slot Embersilk Bags are probably what you want if you expect to stick with the new alt for a while. I wouldn't recommend buying up anything bigger than that now, because you never know if you'll actually like the alt that far in advance. Some bigger options are the "free" 24-slot bags Tattered Hexcloth Bag and Grummlepack, the 26-slot Illusionary Bag, or the 28-slot Royal Satchel.
Monk glyphs are also available. Since I really don't know which glyphs are going to be useful ahead of time, I plan to just craft a full set for myself. Those without a scribe of their own can check the AH, or hire one.
If you know what professions you're going to choose, it may be worthwhile stocking up on skill-up materials ahead of time. I recommend leveling your new monk with two gathering professions, however. Specifically, I recommend Skinning and Herbalism. You'll stand to make a tidy profit, as long as you keep your gathering skill up to pace with your character level.
Not strictly useful, but you might also want to think about transmog gear and mounts. Since mounts, or at least, most mounts are account-wide, you'll probably already have whatever you would want for your new alt. If you don't though, you could go out and get it. As for transmog gear, just remember that mailing heirlooms un-'moggs them, and you can't 'mog with an item if you're not high enough level to wear it.