I want to buy a PC lcd monitor, but I haven’t seen any that look as clear and are as flexible as Apple ones. My school has a few of those 20" cinema displays and they look amazing. None of the PC LCD screens I’ve seen displayed in stores even rival my CRT. Also, why are all the 17" monitors square rather than the normal 4:3? I plan on watching DVDs on my monitor and I don’t want that distortion.
There are many PC TFT monitors every bit as good as Mac ones. Do make sure they’re using the DVI conector, though.
I don’t know which monitor you’re looking at in the store, but they all look nice to me. Sometimes they have ClearType turned on to make a better image.
I am a very big fan of my Planar PE-190s. The picture is absolutely stunning. Excellent viewing angles, brightness and clarity.
Standard resolution for 17" LCD monitors is 1280x1024, which is 1.25:1. Since you run the panel at its native resolution, images will not appear distorted. As qts mentioned, you do have to use a DVI connector for optimal image quality. If your videocard doesn’t have one, it’s time for a new videocard. Getting an LCD with a VGA connection is somewhat like buying expensive speakers and using them to listen to AM radio. Do pay special attention to the response time of any panels you consider, you’ll want no higher than 25ms to avoid ghosting and smearing.
The cheap commodity monitors you’ll find in most stores ARE of exceedingly poor quality, but they’re made for the average person who wants a cheap LCD and doesn’t want to pay much.
Newegg.com has a good selection of LCD monitors and allows you to search by criteria.
You could just buy the Mac LCD and use it on your PC. As far as I know, it should work(you’ll need the ADC to DVI adapter: $39). There is a video card I read about a few months ago that allowed you to connect 2 of the 23 inch cinema displays to a PC. The only problem with using an Apple LCD on your PC is the LCD may object to being used on such a lowly platform.