I do not know monitors well enough to give a definitive recommendation, but I think you should look at 22-24", 1680x1050 - 1920x1200 res. Try to find one with high contrast ratio (dynamic contrast is not the most reliable spec or sometimes even give good performance), low response time 2-5ms.
If you've got the money SSD's are very very fast. You should be looking at one of the 120gb corsair series if you want to use at as you're only drive. Or OCZ. But intel has slow read and writes. But those SSD's don't come cheap. They make a huge difference though. So would raiding two HDD's btw.