I recently visited Monarch Mountain for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. I got lucky and had a good 6-8 inches of pow and I made the most of it. The steeps are indeed rather short compared to some other mountains, but the short lift lines make up for it. If you really want to test your lungs 'n legs, hike to Mirkwood Basin for some awesome steeps. What I liked most about Monarch is the tree skiing - just tight enough to be challenging but open enough to be doable.
I happened to go on a particularly busy weekend and still didnt stand in line long but I will say the lodge was way overloaded.
I've done my fair share of skiing at quite a few resorts and I can say I really enjoyed Monarch and will definitely go back.