Murphy's Law was in full effect this week, taking out my 19" Optiquest monitor. Had it for just about 3 years, and it just went dark when I turned it on one morning. The hard drive has also been doing some strange things, and I am running diagnostics right now - hopefully it will be in better shape than the monitor. So I put the monitor on eBay (I've sold quite a few 'broken' items there), and started researching and looking for a new one. Good 19" monitors will run you at least $250+. Sure you can buy cheaper or generic ones, but you get what you pay for, and when it comes to looking at something everyday for probably another 3+ years, I prefer something this is pleasing on the eyes. Cheap monitors, mice, and keyboards should never be purchased if you use a computer frequently.
I decided that if I was going to spend at least $250, I might as well spend a little more and get a flat panel LCD monitor. Problem is, I do a lot of computer gaming, and up until recently the response rate on LCD monitors was not sufficiently fast enough to prevent blurring of objects in the game. I play a lot of first person shooters, and prefer the sniper-type weapons, so being able to see small object clearly is a must.
I found a Planar PV174 which met all the criteria I was looking for. A sub 30ms response rate so that there was no blurring during DVD playback or gaming; 17.4" screen - which was about the same size viewable as my 19" monitor; DVI and Analog inputs, so that when I upgrade my video card I can use the Digital Video Input connector for even a clearer screen; a built in USB hub; built in speakers (however, they are very weak); and light and small enough to haul around to LAN parties.
So I put it on my computer today, and it was immediately taken over by my oldest daughter, as you can see here:
With her and her friend playing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone every chance they get, I am relegated to my backup computer system, which I have geekified as much as possible:
Yes, it's supposed to be a portable notebook computer, but I have so much stuff plugged into it now, its a pain to move.