1.0.3 has ushered in a different way to farm. I'm sure most people have already seen this, but for those of you still doing the old butcher runs, don't! Elite packs now drop a rare each, the same as the butcher and there's way more of them. Get more use out of your stacks!
A1 is fine for farming, it's fast and can drop the big ticket items, just a lot of time farming is necessary. In the past 2 days I've had 2 5mil drops in act 1, very decent for about 10 hours farming.
I like Act1 elite farming, I can do it fast and I've been cutting out certain areas to increase my rares per hour.
I do this:
1) Port to northern highlands, check for the Watchtower dungeon along the NW wall of the zone (it's small, takes maybe 10s). If it's not there, remake. If it's there, clear it for 1-5 stacks. I anticipate the number of packs here will be nerfed soon, though often times I just find 1 pack. Additionally I find the dungeon has about a 60% spawn rate.
2) Check northern highlands (small area, 0-2 packs).
3) Run to the hunting grounds (small area, 0-1 packs). it's NE of the highlands 100% of the time.
4) Run to Leoric's Courtyard (small area, 0-2 packs) it's NW of the hunting grounds 100% of the time.
5) Check cemetery dungeons, I kill one pack per dungeon and then port out and go to the next cemetery dungeon. The reason for this is that each dungeon can spawn 1-2 packs but it's rarely 2 and sometimes they can be quite large areas, not worth the time to clear them totally.
6) Festering woods - clear the 2 dungeons there for 2 more packs, kill packs that are out in the general area if you come across them. I usually find 1, but the range I believe is 0-2 in the general area.
7) Halls levels 1, 2, then the jail area (still deciding if this run through is worth it, it takes time but you usually find 1), then halls level 3 and butcher.
Rinse & Repeat! I do it in about a half hour or shorter if I remain focused. I'm a Barb running a normal sword and board build with sprint for faster clearing. I ignore normal mobs unless there's a huge pack then I kill them for fun :)