you get what you pay for. most monitors i've had were/are samsung, never had an issue with any of them. i've also got respect for monitors from dell, but am wary of cheaper brands like viewsonic or benq.
as for specs, 1080p (1920x1080) is the standard resolution to go for these days.
something with a high contrast ratio and low response time are beneficial for things like photo, video and gaming, but really don't matter if all you're doing is spreadsheets.
Just saw this. Thanks for the input!