I forgot to mention that have the button on the front of my camera than normally works depth of field, programmed to turn on a spot meter. This really speeds up meter readings of problems subjects. However I've been at this long enough that I can usually shoot one shot and take an educated guess at any corrections and be on the money for the next shot.
The problem with usiing the camera monitor as your exposure is your environment can affect your guess since the monitor will be different if your in a light room vs a dark room. That's where the Histogram comes in. I can adjust the exposure so the histogram is roughly centered and then that gives me a visual reference for the monitor brighteness.