The current site poll on 'things we miss in Skyrim' included 'hand-to-hand as a skill' as one of the options. Although it is trailing in the poll, a few people have mentioned it on the thread.
I'm certainly puzzled by the severe downgrading of unarmed combat in Skyrim. I made a pugilist 'bruiser' character in Fallout and Fallout: New Vegas and had an absolute blast. With the introduction of finishing moves into Skyrim it would have been similarly awesome to make a similar character in this game.
So, is it possible to play as an unarmed monk character?
The good news is that it is not only possible to create a viable hand-to-hand character, it can actually be an immensely powerful and fun option. Here is a 'Let's Play' video from a guy who starts out with an unarmed Khajiit character and causes havoc just with his fists!
What are the options open to the dedicated unarmed devotee?
Anything else that anyone wants to suggest?
OK, to finish off this blog post, here is another fun YouTube video, this time we see an unarmed character take down an Elder Dragon solely with the use of his fists.