Maybe what's actually insane is the common practice of fighting CR 1/4 creatures at 1st level and then using them as any kind of argument for or against balance.
Seriously, four CR 1/4 creatures are intended to equal one CR 1 creature, and one CR 1 creature isn't an appropriate challenge to a party of four 1st level characters.
But against a CR 1 creature, like a Grimlock or a Small Animated Object, the difference is 2 damage per round. In a more sane game the difference is not between one or two kills per round, it is, in fact, between 13 average damage per round and 15 damage per round. OMFG.
And again, you're comparing what is intended to be a Tier 3 class (the Battle Monk) against an un-optimized Fighter (low Tier 4). Instead, look at what any Crusader, Swordsage, or Warblade can do at 1st level.