Tscott speaks the truth! So does Coopatroopa! You just gotta roll away from the pack and choose your moment to strike. Get in for one or two quick strikes against the weaker foes on the outside of the mob then roll out again. When it's down to one-on-one, I find it a lot easier to parry blows. And always have your QUEN defenses up.
You can find books which detail the best strategies for killing various monsters, like bleeding attacks or traps.
I'm mixed on the UI. I love the meditation screen and the wiggly World of Goo skill tree and the inventory screen. I don't love the limited, console-style scrolling item list or the way the info panels for stats open in corner boxes. I haven't seen an easy way to compare new equipment with items you already have equipped. And that sharp-looking font feels like it belongs in a Valve FPS rather than a fantasy RPG.
I'm increasingly happy with my rig's performance. Every time I load the game I turn up one or two more advanced graphics effects and I haven't had that horrible slowdown come back. I even jacked it back up to 1920x1200 and it's very playable and quite spectacular looking. I don't know what exactly made my computer choke and die but I've seen it happen in other games like Monday Night Combat and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It wasn't ubersampling, I know that much.
One downside is now that I'm in a much larger area, when I die in combat the reloads take a lot longer. Oh well. Extra incentive to not die. I love the depth and difficulty of the combat system. You can't have that thrill of victory without the agony of defeat.