Although I really agree with you I think this is also sometimes part of a problem. While it could certainly be a very inspiring and refreshing tool for making music it could also just seem like buttons and LEDs.
I’ve never owned a monome but do have a Livid Block (similar in terms of the monobrightness aspect to your monome) and a Livid Code that I got quite a few years back thinking that I could do some things with it that fits inside of the monome sensibility. Getting a monome where I am from wasn’t really a viable option at the time. I used it quite extensively for a period but it has been collecting dust for the past couple of years.
Recently I’ve also though about what I could still do with them since I now work with a small modular system and homemade sound machines. I still don’t really know the answer but the exploration itself is for me a creative act. I would probably also suggest that you dig into the programming side of things if you are at all interested but like I said I really think that it becomes a creative process in its own right that can either become very separate from musical practice or perhaps enhance it.
For what it’s worth, I am currently exploring using either the grid device or the Livid Code with an iPad running MobMuPlat (essentially an app that can run Pure Data patches on the iPad) to see if I can create a little self contained ‘instrument/environment’ with just the iPad and the controller.
Just curious, what exactly is your setup?