I have made three MeteOrb sorcs now. Since it is a dual tree build, you will need some decent gear with +skills to boost the dual skills damage potential in Hell. Many recommend the full Tal set with Spirit shield as great mfing option and damage boost. Check the stickies for the "truth about the Tals set" and MeteOrb guides. There are +skill cheap item options available to help you out also, such as dual Spirit sword/shield combo (+4 skills, 50-70% FCR, 110 FHR, resists, mana, and life)
It has been my experience that at early levels you will have a hard time dishing out large damage versus pure one tree sorcs. I collect as much gold as possible and gamble for rares in Act 1 at Gheed. I look for FHR, resists, life, and mana stats on the gambled items. Before you get Frozen Orb (FO) at level 30 try going melee with Ice Bolt and Frost Nova as support. Once you have FO normal and nightmare difficulties are not really difficult. You need to learn how to aim your orb to explode on tough enemies. The fire skills part of you MeteOrber will begin to shine once you have some +skill gear and Tal orb weapon. Don't forget to consider some Cold Mastery to boost FOs damage once you hit Hell. I won't comment on the Fire Bolt versus Fire Mastery subject, read the guides for this decision.
Here's my layout with my MeteOrber usually:
10 Ice Bolt
10 Fire Mastery
1 Static, Warmth, cold armor of choice, and Teleport
Rest into Cold Mastery (maybe 5-10)
With +5-10 skills your damage will be high enough to tackle Hell. In Normal and Nightmare your FO/Fireball combo should be strong enough to kill anything. Use static to lower bosses and uniques health.
I've made 7 meteorb sorcs since 1.10 at all stages of ladder and I can say: Yes. Very well.
you really only need about +4 all skills to be decent in hell - easy to do even at the start of a new ladder. Try a spirit sword, any +1 sorc skill ammy and a Lore helm and you're already there. get a +2 sorc skill ammy instead, a lidless or spirit shield and any +1 skill armor and you're already at +7-8 skills.
She will kill individual things more slowly than a hammerdin, but due to her teleporting she will actually get through stages faster than a similarly equipped hammerdin.
Single tree sorcs are good for starting ladder in the way that you can MF specific bosses or uniques with them more efficiently. However they are far inferior at rushing, baal running, questing, and other tasks that require killing creatures with multiple immunities at this stage of ladder. If you want to run a specific area or boss for MF and dont want to use the character for anything else, then definitely do a single-tree sorc.
If you are having trouble killing things with a meteorber, I'd suggest the following: get at least +4 skills, then work on your spellcasting. Aim orbs so they explode at the end of their path on the monster, spam fireballs ceaselessly in between each meteor and orb cast, telestomp appropriate enemies, etc.
I made my second meteorb sorceress for my first character and once again, it's something I don't regret. At lvl 70 and below, she seems bad until you start putting the rest of your points into fire mastery AFTER maxing Frozen orb, Meteor, & Fireball in that order (dont forget enough points with + skills to reach lvl 17 cold mastery). Once you do that, your Meteor and Fireball quickly become more powerful and if you prefer Fireball simply put those points into Firebolt. Don't invest any points into ice bolt, as it doesn't help much unless you're a PVP Orb sorc. Just keep on playing, find an insight, and keep on mfing in nightmare until you get good enough to go to hell. With a one-tree sorceress, you're going to have a limited list of places to mf. Conversely, with a hybrid you can pretty much mf any area since you always have a way around immunes. Just don't expect to be owning in an 8-player game, a meteorb sorc should always play alone or with a limited group of people.
One tip for getting better with a meteorb sorc is to launch a meteor and spam frozen orb/fireball, or launch frozen orb along with fireballs to dish out a constant barrage of damage.
Here's news: Untwinked chars have a harder time than fully geared chars. If you're used to stomping hell with your prefab'd din and spamming tele and hammer, well, welcome to D2. The Meteorb is a very good build, that is why it is so widely used. Realize that FB doesn't kill in huge swaths like FO or Lightning, but is more used for handling individual/small groups of monsters as well as CI. If you can't kill with orb, then you aren't following the build. Orb rapes norm and NM up and down, and takes on most of hell with relative ease. It takes a little more juice mid-late hell with orb, and you have to handle CIs, but really, for 20 some points, it owns.
As basically stated, she's an all-round utility Sorc, not a specialized Boss Blaster (though she can definitely get the job done). She is indeed capable of lifting herself up by her bootstraps and getting herself ready for Hell.
Once you get there (and assuming you farmed NM bosses for a while to obtain some staple items) she can handle most of the game's main runs: Countess (with merc help), Pits, Andy, Tunnels, Summoner, Meph, Shenk, Eldritch, Pindle... even Nihl with good gear. She's got plenty of places to go, and plenty of things to kill, without having to tele past packs that she can't do anything about. A Meteorb MF game is more leisurely and laid back than a wham-bam-thank-you-Meph Blizz sorc game, and I wouldn't say that she's less profitable over time. Her runs produce many gems, runes and socketables on top of the magic stuff she digs up.
Give her full Tal's, a perfect Spirit, Magefists, Anni/Torch and an SoJ or 2, and she's quite deadly...
I believe I'm on my 4th Meteorb with this new Ladder... I began last ladder with something else, and her absence was sorely noted after a while.