Well I don't game very much, certainly nothing too demanding with my venerable old 9800SE (at least it's running at 9800pro spec). Can't say I've been very bothered by image scaling or anything and I suspect newer games will support native widescreen better anyway.
I like having the extra width for things like having a messaging client or toolboxes out of the way of a main window.
Certainly takes a little adjusting going back to my old 17" CRT on the spare computer, guess the brain is used to a wider field of view.
going straight from standard 19 to wide 19... I noticed no loss in height... really. I was the same as you guys, which is why I had the standard to begin with, but having widescreen in gaming is almost like hacking.
Well the resolution is pretty low for a screen that size so it'll be pretty pixelated, I wouldn't recommend it. Though it depends on how far you'll be sitting from it, 1280x1024 on my 109" projector looks great but you gotta be at least 6 feet away from it.
If you need to to read text, WS is the way to go. Just rotate the monitor 90 degrees, and you have 1680 vertical pixels (I think most cards support rotating the screen these days). The FPD2185W from Gateway automatically switches the resolution to vertical when you rotate the monitor on the stand.
Webpages are long and some spreadsheets have lots of rows, so a WS may not be as desireable.
You would need a 1680x1050 or better WS to get the vertical pixels of a 17 or 19" standard LCD. You would have to buy a 24" 1920x1200 WS just to get the vertical pixels of a 20/20.1 standard LCD.
For today's games, landscape photos, WS video and spreadsheets with lots of columns a WS is great.
I use a 22" 1680 WS myself and I love it. Some games you have to edit command lines, ini/inf files and hack the fov which sucks. But it is nice having more peripheral vision in games.
A WS that tilts can provide the best of both worlds. You can often fit an entire webpage on the screen when they are rotated, see entire documents and get a ridiculous amount of spreadsheet rows on the screen at once. We have some FPD-2185W gateway LCDs like that in our shop. Very impressive.