Well I did it. I went and got (ordered) a used 19' Dell 1907FPVt. It came today. I wanted a SQUARE (5:4) monitor. I did a lot of research and I believe that square monitors are better (at least for me). A widescreen might make me feel squished and wishing there was more to the top and bottom of the page. I play games, but I also do other things and, like other people have said, websites scroll top to bottom and widescreens have so much wasted horizontal space with websites.
Its a shame they don't really make many of these "classic" monitors anymore. Perhaps they'll make a comeback...like cassettes and 8-tracks. what? lol
I hate buying USED, but I had to. This monitor had everything I wanted. Good refresh time, decent base, black color, thin bezel, reasonable price, and it has both VGA and DVI ports. Thats important because I really want to compare for myself to see whats the big deal with DVI. I just need to get a cable. So far the VGA looks just fine to me. Most monitors I saw on ebay only had VGA.
When I first turned on the monitor, it was 1024x768. I thought that was fine. Then I changed it to its native 1280 x 1024 and thought everything was too small. Then I changed it back. Then I changed it back again to 1280 x 1024 and after just minutes of use, I have already gotten used to it. Now when I go back to 1024 x 768, it looks huge like 800 x 600 used to look to me. And 800 x 600 looks like...legos. lol. I don't know how else to describe it. 1024 x 768 is too big and a little blurry.
So 1280 x 1024 is here to stay. I welcome it.
As for games. I tested it with Rfactor. It did indeed take a performance hit. Quite a significant one. But I don't care. Playing on this 19" screen is SO MUCH better than on the 17", which was actually a 15" viewable area. 4 extra inches made a huge difference. 10x better! The performance hit is worth it. Worse comes to worse, I'll just buy a better video card.
I don't see this new resolution as sharper. I see it as something necessary to accommodate for the bigger screen.
The colors looked a little washed out like I thought they would be. I read that LCD's just can't do contrast (at least the color black) the same way as CRT's. I adjusted the monitor as far as it would go. Contrast 100% UP. Brightness 100% DOWN (I hate brite). Still no good. Then I adjusted the settings for my ATI video card. It let me make things even darker and the colors more saturated. Now I am pleased with the colors. I've never fiddled around with that on my CRT. I think these colors look even better than CRT now that I have adjusted them.
I think I made the right decision. I think a 19" square monitor is the sweet spot at least for me. This bigger monitor is better, but you don't want it to be too big. I have a friend who has a 28" widescreen monitor and IMO it sucks for regular website use. It is just a big screen of white space and it takes longer to have to move the mouse across the screen.
I've been a CRT user all my life. Here it is in 2010 and I'm just finally making the leap to LCD joining the rest of the world. In a few more months you guys will probably all have 3D hologram monitors. Oh well. I just answered pretty much all of my own questions. Maybe this will be of help to someone else, if there even is anyone else who doesn't have an LCD by now.