The monitor is the window into the computing world, and if you're going to be looking through that window for long periods of time, it had better be a good one.
Things have moved massively in the last four years for displays: widescreens at a 16:10 aspect ratio overtook 4:3, which opened up larger horizontal resolutions. Chi Mei Optoelectronics released a 22-inch panel offering previously unseen performance for the price, flooding the market and resulting in 1680x1050 becoming the second most popular resolution today, and is set to be number one (at least on the desktop — the prolific 1280x800 dominates in laptops).
TN panels went from being awful quality, to easily passable both colour- and performance-wise for non-colour critical use, with their lesser viewing angles the major remaining beef. Response times stopped being an issue, but input lag became a more serious concern, especially on VA-based panels. Manufacturers started offering IPS panels for affordable prices compared to previous revisions. Large screen TV purchases exploded, with a run-on effect of monitors moving from 16:10 to 16:9, pumping up the resolution one more time so vendors could claim "Full HD" compliance.
Yes, it's been a few good years for displays. Let's take a look at some of the best 23-inch and under monitors that CNET Australia has seen thus far.