I heard about that. I also know you can repopulate dungeons to grind levels against weaker monsters. But I don't really like doing that, partly because it sounds incredibly boring and partly because it seems to defeat the point of actually playing on a higher difficulty. I try to play hardcore the same way as a normal game, complete every area only once. But eventually I always get overwhelmed by a group of nasty monsters.
It wouldn't bother me so much if Elite wasn't so unpredictable in parts. Most of the time you're perfectly safe and then suddenly you go from full health to nothing. I just lost another promising character in Act 2. He entered a dungeon and was immediately ambushed by a Champion Basilisk. Since he couldn't retreat anywhere he got stunlocked to death. Before that point he was steamrolling through everything.
Ah well, no sense in complaining. I'll probably stick to Veteran softcore for a while so I get a chance to try out a few gimmicky builds.