I do tons of electronic graphical design both at work and at home. I'm a fan of lots of pixels on the screen, multiple monitors, etc. I feel it gives me more productivity to have my design, my blog, my datasheets, all in view at the same time. I also have a house full of teenage sons who do video gaming. Every time I get a new monitor I have to look up what my old one was so I can match sizes and swap things around. I recently bought a new monitor to replace a hulking CRT monster which was once a miracle of technology and wanted to jot down my thinking on this topic and record what monitors I have in one place.
Circa summer 2011, 1900x1200 is king, and he is near death. LCD, price and HDTV has ruined the computer monitor market. Since monitors have grown to the size of TVs, and the price for either is rock bottom, (you may not think it is rock bottom, but as a designer of consumer electronics, it barely pays to build and sell either) manufacturers have consolidated sizes. Lot of people watch TV and movies on their computer screens anyway, and the layman thinks 1080p is a big resolution.
Lots of engineering applications expect 1900x1200, and those extra pixels above 1900x1080 make a big difference in having a usable workspace. 1900x1080 is like peering through a mail slot at your work. Taller is better for document reading too. So despite the price I still snap up 1900x1200 monitors when I find a good deal. Note I consider resolution over size any day.
Larger than 1900x1200 are priced out of this world, >$1000. Not worth it. Used to be you could crank your CRT monitor up to 2560. It could get blurry but it still worked. Those days are over. That is why I hung onto my 23# widescreen CRT Sun monitor forever. But side by side, the 24 LCDs were brighter and crisper and I found my self sliding my window over to the LCD no matter what the resolution on the CRT was. So the CRT is now a boat anchor at the dump, and gave me a sore back on the way out. This think was HUGE and must have weighed 100 pounds.
Somehow <$300 is a magic price point for me, so I troll for monitors 1900x1200 that are under $300.
I've found the consumer quality monitors (aka el cheapo) are just fine. I've never had dead pixels, and getting a big monitor with lots of pixels does it for me. So i'm no snob for "professional" monitors that cost twice as much. Maybe viewing angle or evenness of display are better, but I've never noticed.
I recently bought this one in 05/2011 and am very happy with it:
HP LA2405wg Black / Silver 24" 5ms Height/Pivot/Swivel adjustable Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 3000:1(1000:1)http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824176141
It even has a promo code, which I missed, for another $20 off, and free shipping.
I think it is being dumped because there is no HDMI port. It has displayport, which only HP laptops really support. Has a DVI and VGA and looks good sourced by either. It is 1900x1200 and matches well with my older Sceptre monitor from 2008. It is for sale from Amazon, but is currently only from 3rd parties who charge shipping 24 LA2405wg LCD Monitor. It does seem that there are deals <$200 for 1900x1080 monitors, so this recomendation isn't for everyone.
I got this monster 02/2011 from tigerdirect for $249!! Free shipping seems to come and go.
I-Inc iH-282HPB 28" Class Widescreen LCD Monitor - 1920 x 1200, 15000:1 Dynamic, 16:10, 3ms, VGA, HDMIhttp://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4938558
Admittedly I had been looking for a 24", because that is about as big as my head and eyes comfortably take in when the monitor is a reasonable distance away. I had been searching on 1900x1200 and didn't notice this was bigger. It came in the mail and I thought there was a mistake and I'd bought a TV. Box and monitor are huge. It works great. It has two HDMI connectors and a DVI adapter. Not sure why they give it away. Picture was bright, sharp, uniform. Awesome. Almost bought another but they are so big, you have to have room for them. Two on your desk is probably too big for anyone.
I got this one for my son's gaming in 2/2010 for $228. At the time it was the best deal on a 24" monitor that had an HDMI port so he could also hook it to his playstation as well as the computer. It has a DVI and a HDMI port both, so it could do double duty. His usage is purely entertainment. He does no engineering (how sad). It is only 1900x1080, and it cemented my opinion that 1900x1200 is worth paying for. It has a fast response time and has been a good monitor for him. He does notice that my 1900x1200's are taller, and comments on it a lot. However it was at least $50-100 cheaper than an equivalent 1900x1200.
I got this one in 10/2008. It has been my workhorse all that time.
It was $270 at the time, from Amazon, newegg, and tigerdirect, but is unavailable now. Had DVI and VGA inputs and speakers which I never used.
I wrote a review when i got it, because with my old Thinkpad laptop extender, the display blinked out black once or twice an hour for a few seconds. Pretty annoying. After some reading on the web, I decided that it was the fault of low DVI signal levels. When I got a newer thinkpad and extender, the problem stopped. It is now hooked to a desktop machine and has never done this again.