I have spent the past four hours researching monitor options online, without reaching any clear conclusion. Therefore I thought I'd throw my question out and see what people think. I've got a new Dell 9000 coming this week, and want to upgrade from my old (square) Dell 20" monitor to something in the 24-27" range.
Here are my requirements (in approximate order of importance):
General PC usage
Windows Media Center - accessing TV content stored on a Windows Home Server (no tuning required)
Video / image editing, but ultimate color accuracy not critical
DVD and blu-ray playback
Light gaming - GTR2
Connections - DVI (do I need HDMI?)
Clean, attractive look
The PC (refurbed) is coming with a 1GB nVidia GTS 240, but I would definitely upgrade for the right experience.
Okay having done a bit more research, I think it probably boils down to the Dell u2410 or u2711 depending on how much coin I want to part with. I think quality of image is more important to me than size, and it seems like these monitors are at the head of the pack for all around usage. I'd prefer the u2711's 16:9 ratio, but price + no discounts yet is an obstacle. Any dissenters?
I like the 26" Planar PX2611w for just under $800 shipped. It's an older LCD monitor from 2007 that is still pretty hard to beat in terms of quality and performance. It has been tested to have less than 8ms of input lag. The H-IPS panel from LG/Philips is the same one used in the NEC 2690WUXi monitor.
It's not as sleek looking as the LED backlit Dells and uses a little more power because of florescent backlight, but definitely a great monitor to work and play with. I recommend this monitor to a friend to does professional graphics work and he loves it.
If you want something sleek, then go for one fo the Dells. If you want really good image quality, colors (once calibrated) and low input lag, then go for the Planar.