I just ran with parties, using Poison Explosion as my primary skill until I got Poison Nova, went quite fast although half the time I felt I was only leeching exp as there aren't that many monsters in Normal for PE to be as efficient as in Hell.
patch: Unfortunately the easiest / quickest way to lvl up from where you are is to hit the norm cows. There is good experience to be had in act3 (as mentioned above) to a5 (bloodies).
Money is to do a couple norm cows to get to 23, then do ancients, then do baal til your 50'ish.
EDIT: saw your post on p.dagger.
The poison damage is only applied if you use a dagger, but there is a bug if you are using non-dagger weapons and have the skill selected on your left click (where it's displayed near the red orb) where you won't get the poison damage, but you'll get the AR bonus. Very nice.