I'm in the same boat as you. I know atleast a few months back it was a complete gamble on Newegg. I have checked my local Fry's and Best Buy. They had no clue about the S/A/C fiasco. I checked their display models. Best Buy had C's, Fry's had A's (the blue bias on the A's was obvious and horrible).
Recent Newegg reviews indicate they are not putting the letters on the sticker anymore, probably due to the bad press they were getting. There was also a secret menu on the displays that told you what version you got, but they apparently have removed them as well. I imagine the current stock at Fry's/Best Buy/Circuit City are the same way (not gonna buy one to find out).
So, anyway I was looking at this LG monitor as a replacement:
The picture looked amazing at the store. Same specs. It is flat black rather that the glossy finish on the Samsungs (okay by me, I hate fingerprints). $350 is a bit pricey, but Best Buy actually has a great deal. It's only $280:
Now, one thing I noticed about the LG monitor is that there are three models:
Newegg has the Y model, Best Buy has the Q model. In general Q costs less than Y which costs less than X. Does that mean there is a quality difference? I can't find any information on that. No reviews or anything. They all have the same specs. LG's website doesn't seem to acknowledge the model difference.
Personally, looking at the Q model at Best Buy, it looks great.
The LG's look nice, but $80 more than the Samsung ???? I just can not justify it. I really just wanf the 226BW version S. Where do I find one?
You can no longer easily identify an "S" panel Samsung 226BW. The sticker on the back of these monitors no longer state "S", "A", or "C". Even the secret screen in the OSD menu which used to identify the panel is no longer there. You jumped on the 226BW bandwagon about 4 months too late.
The only way to identify a "S" panel now is to take the monitor apart and look at the sticker on the panel itself. Of course, doing so will void your warranty.
I just spoke to Samsung Customer Support and they were very familiar with the situation. He mentioned that they are no longer making the A and C version. Hopefully, when the A and C version get pushed through the distribution channels, that will only leave the S version available.
He was not able to tell me where to go to get an S version. I at a loss now. I still don;y know what to do.....
Supposedly that was reported about 3 months ago. If it is really true then they must have a lot of "A" and "C" left in stocks. Besides, how is the average consumer gonna know anyway since such information is not easily obtained from the monitor itself without taking it apart.
Well by the time I jump on the LCD bandwagon, LCDs will be like CRTs today, unavailable. So I guess if its true that they are only making S panels now, I should get one on ebay without worrying about A or C panels