Thought id try put some of my magic gear on my clvl 42 warrior to see how he would do lvling.
Armor: Awesome plate of tiger 133,75,42
Shield: Crimson shield of brilliance 33,12,13
amu: Drakes amu of sorc 47,20
rings Dragons of wizardry 53,27 and dragons heavens 59,15
Roughly ending up with 400 hp, 460 mana and 240 ac
depending on resist requirements i put on Obsidian plate of sorcery 40,52,20 jade shield of the moon 27,16,6 or obisidan ring of life 40,25
Started out by leveling my chainl to 11 and fireb to 12 and headed down to hell/nightmare. Got really surprised how well I could clear the levels 13-15 despite the incredibly slow cast-rate by the warrior.
Have also tried playing catocombs/hell and caves/hell, mainly to find ring of dark and enchanted shrines to max the spells and also jade shield of brilliance in caves. Even though cato and early levels of caves give less than max exp it pays well since they are cleared out so fast
Turns out I could actually clear these levels faster than I would playing melee warrior, going from 42 to 44 in 3 days of casual playing. Positive i've found the fastest way of leveling with this clvl. Optimal is monsters sensetive to chainlightning bcause of the warriors slow cast being able to maximize targets recieving damage. What do the pro's say?
I think going for a mini-mage setup is good for the areas you've mentioned, but doesn't do well once you get to Hell/Hell. In fact, it is probably the fastest way to level from 30, but begins to slow down at later levels. Why don't you try to run some tests to see if you get faster experience at your level from chaining your way through Hell/Caves or from meleeing through Hell/Hell?
That's surprising and counter intuitive. I suppose this could be effective leveling even until 50. Jarulf's guide doesn't mention the exp flow completely stopping for most monsters in the caves, although I only had a quick skim through it.
I Usually complete caves and if I have potions left I try the first levels of hell/hell. It turns out the most of what you encounter on dlvl 13 and 14 you could clear faster with magic than melee.
Playable hell/hell monsters
Black knight, cave viper and fire drakes, succubusses, guardians, doom guards, snow witches
Surprised how useful fireball became when I uped it to slvl 16 even considering the cast rate of the warr. U could clear 3-5 black knights and snow witches with a single fireball
More cumbersome ones:
Venom lords, Gold vipers, the red dogs, lightning demons
Blood knight, steel lords, hell spawn, balrogs (right now at clvl 46 and fireball slvl 16 it takes minimum 3 shots for a BK, had it taken 2 maybe it could be done)
Not sufficiently tested ones:
There are ofcourse preferrable mixes of these monsters you would want to encounter, e.g only chainlightning or only fireball levels.
Some points to optimize the build:
-Currently playing without maxed resist on caster levels (sometimes not necessary though)
-Armor class, currently at 240ish, too little for red dogs, gold vipers, stormlords etc. Btw someone having figures of max useful armorclass as a function of clvl? Think ive seen it in jarufls but cant find it again...