all too often, the issue with Monks is they cannot cheaply enhance their unarmed attacks due to the massive price of the amulet of mighty fists and have to pay for the tacked on price of enchanting druid natural attacks.
the necklace of natural attacks from 3.5 Savage Species is already a good fix on its own for druids. costing merely half the price of an amulet of mighty fists. at Bonus Squared multiplied by 2,000 gold.
but what if i told you, that if you look at every RPG out there made from PS1 Era to modern day that isn't intended to evoke nostalgia, whether on console, PC or tabletop, that an easier to balance option has been simply allowing monks to enchant gauntlets and still benefit from their monk training.
a monk knows how to punch harder, it makes no scientific sense that your punch would decay in strength by wearing a friggin glove, even if it were a metal glove.
so i propose, we emulate those other RPGs and Encourage monks to wear enchanted gauntlets, cesti, brass knuckles, rope gauntlets, spiked gauntlets and bladed gauntlets by allowing them to keep their full monk unarmed strike damage and use their full suite of monk class features with these weapons.
it would be a lot cheaper than designing a special magic item for monks, and would provide monks with a much needed buff to accuracy while not driving them into poverty or eating up their precious natural armor item.
i mean, unless you are a monk or brawler, you likely aren't punching things. and it makes common sense, that a monk or brawler who wants to hit harder, would enchant a metal glove with the bonuses needed for accuracy and damage.
this would not only help strength based monks, it would help dexterity based ones as well, who no longer have to choose between +5 or +4 with Agile.
it actually wouldn't overpower monks at all. because 2d10 unarmed damage is pretty low when the real sources of damage come not from the weapons base damage dice, but from the sheer amount of static bonuses you apply to it. which for a 2handed weapon, come from 1.5x multiplier on strength bonus and on power attack. which unarmed strikes don't have. a 12th level fighter with a +3 Falchion, a 22 Strength, Power Attack, Gloves of Dueling and Weapon Training is looking at +15/10/5 to hit for a damage of 2d4+9+12+3+4 before factoring weapon specialization or crits, or an Average of 33 Damage per Hit
a 12th level monk with 2d6 unarmed damage, power attack, +3 Gauntlet, and 22 strength is dealing at, +9/9/4/4/-1/-1 for 2d6+6+8+3 or an Average of 24 per swing, assuming the monk focused exclusively on strength and completely neglected the other stats of monkhood. that monk probably has only an 18 strength at best due to multiple attribute dependency and is rolling +7/7/2/2/-3/-3 for an average of only 22 points a swing.
the fighter can also dedicate four feats to increase their attack bonus by two and their damage bonus by four. and they gain a huge bonus from improved critical as well.
either way, the monk, which is a martial class, even as a pure strength build, will never deal enough damage to keep with the fighter, and because the monk does their damage throughout more attacks, the monk is even more crippled by damage reduction, which is crippled at that point.
all this proves, is monks need to be able to retain their unarmed damage with gauntlets. because that, combined with the near exclusive strength focus, si what is allowing the monk to deal respectable damage, causing their defense to suffer in exchange. unlike a fighter who can have decent offenses and decent defenses.
and this isn't counting the fact a fighter can use a bow pretty well. which a monk can't do without archetypes.
the gauntlets, which are a simple solution, are more of a bandaid than anything. they are necessary to the monk. the monk's accuracy sucks, leaving them unable to land any hits with their flurry, hence the fan nickname, flurry of misses.