Do you like to have a single giant monitor, a couple mid-sized monitors or some other configuration? Specifically, I’m interested in your home general purpose computer system. (No media centers or netbooks)
I'd love to have three 1280x1024s, but for space and pocketbook reasons I have one 1280x1024 and one 1024 x 768 at home at the moment.
I'm probably in the minority in that I'm not a huge fan of going larger than 1280x1024. Any larger than that and I start having to do desktop window management instead of just maximizing everything. Kind of a pain.
All widescreen desktop monitors need to die in a fire.
- at least 3 monitors
- no smaller than 19" diagonal
- no smaller resolution than 1280x1024
This leaves quite a bit of possibilities out there. Widescreen is a plus, if you can get a desk to accommodate the additional space needed. It's also a setup that is within reasonable reach of mom-and-pop, i.e. it's a realistic goal that can be achieved by them if they want it. Spending thousands for ultra-high-end monitors is nice but frankly not everyone can plunk down that kind of money, especially if they have a house, kids, cars, cards, etc.
It's a matter of personal taste, however one thing I have found extremely useful over the years is to set aside a single monitor (preferably widescreen) rotated into portrait mode exclusively to read ebooks and pdf documents from.
It comes in especially handy if you are a developer and are reading a computer ebook on one monitor and trying out the examples in your IDE on the other.
My preferences are, in order:
1) Multiple large monitors (2-3) (for example, any size apple cinema display)
2) multiple smallish identical (2-4) high contrast 1600x1200 or better monitors
3) a single large monitor (cinema display size)
I like multiple screens for gaming, or be able to dedicate different screens to different things (like VMWare sessions or video)