Yea, you're best bet is to start rune farming. You'll be able to come up with a good weapon much faster than finding a unique from meph or the like. I recently raised a frenzy barn on all self-found items. I was able to get grief, death (still looking for base), and fort without a herculean time investment and before I even killed hell baal. Hit up Lower Kurast, bust out your Vigor aura and find yourself some decent runes. Even without Lo you'll still open up a lot of options for yourself.
Well it depends on what kind of weapon you're wanting and what runes you have or are trying to get. Eth elite class weapons are generally worth holding on to, but you'll have to match the sockets. 5 socket phase blades are common and are ideal for grief.
Mal you can get from Countess or LK. Countess will be faster, but LK has the opportunity of giving you some even better stuff. I probably did about 1K LK runs and walked away with a Lo, Sur, Ohm, a couple of Ists, and a couple Mals. Maybe I got lucky, but that's still far fewer runs than a lot of people do. Regardless, Oath should take you as far as you need to go, so long as you find a good eth base. Cows are probably the best place to look for those. Any 4 socket elite class ethereal one hand mace, axe, or sword will do the trick probably.
Keep in mind not everyone finds high runes as quickly as Clervis' experience from LK. In my first 5000 runs in 1.13 an Ohm was my highest rune. I did pick up a Sur and an Ohm in my next 500 but you may have ran out of paitence somewhere in the first 5000!