Female Mutants also start with a Saber. I believe the programmers' intent was to give the 2nd rank agility-based weapon to Females rather than the 2nd-rank strength-based weapon. However, they forgot about the Whip.
That's what I thought too. But the Whip... isn't that a STR weapon? --- Fighter: "Mr Pibb", "Dr Pepper".. I'm onto you.. Kaz Fact: Welcome to Version 2.0!
humans can not go above the display values for their stats by more than 1 (I'll still give a strength potion to a human with 98 strength, for example, even though that would bring him past 99 by one).
Mutants can save scum to keep useful abilities (almost a non-issue in the late game, but it can prove significant when spell books are hard to afford and resistances are hard to come by).
Monsters are allowed to check a chart to make sure they only eat meat that will help them (monsters are not allowed to max out in the first world).
I find that these rules are enough to make each class viable in their own way and in their own time. For example, a monster could take the brunt of the challenge during the early game until stat potions become affordable enough for the humans to max out. The humans and the monsters can then support the mutant until Stone and/or Flare becomes affordable and only the final bosses can pose a threat. After that, it's humans for the single target heavy hits and mutants for the wide area destruction. Monsters have served their main function by that point, but can still participate in the stoning/flaring depending on species.
Of course, with mutants and monsters, a little good/bad luck could force you to reevaluate your whole plan, which is part of what makes this game so fun.
Ultimately, monsters are still the weakest class overall, but I find that when I follow those rules, everyone in my party usually has a role to play; and no one feels like dead weight the whole time.
Anyway, I think this answers TC's original question. --- I'm not sure how, I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that you owe me money!
Maxing them out completely makes them too good in my opinion. Without any blatant grinding (walking back and forth looking for fights) it's still possible to encounter the meats you need to keep a monster growing slightly faster than whatever you're encountering, which can be quite a boost until the 3rd major world.
Even with a guide, luck can be a powerful factor, especially when trying to maintain more than one monster, so I won't begrudge a little grinding in those cases. Exactly how much grinding/monster leveling is called for is really up to the player. For my own part, I look at the meat transformation FAQ and I consider myself to be doing quite well if I stay 2 levels above the random encounters.
Keep in mind that these rules are largely based on memory, especially with monsters. My normal playthrough these days is just trying to win as fast as possible with a given party, so I don't bother much with balance. --- I'm not sure how, I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that you owe me money!