Hmm, good point. It's the same case of the Dex-based rogue who's sucking wind in melee combat for his first two levels because he doesn't qualify for Weapon Finesse until level 2 and doesn't get a feat slot to buy it until level 3.

Maybe what I could do is implement Versatile Attack for all monks at level 1, instead of the martial monk at level 3. Then I can remove the whole Strength/Dex interchange from Empty Strike, since it will already be provided. This would do more or less what you suggested. Versatile Attack isn't likely to invite dippage because the weapon and armor restrictions make it attractive only to the sort of builds that would want to dip monk anyhow.

Done and done!