The world of display technology has seen a shift in recent months. The popularity of square-ish 4:3 displays has dwindled at the expense of newer, widescreen models. This is good, because Windows Vista, the replacement for the ageing Windows XP, has portions of its user interface that are designed specifically for widescreen displays, and it's likely that some hi-def videos won't play properly, or at all, unless your screen is HDCP compliant.
So if you're thinking about upgrading to Vista, you may want to consider buying a new screen as well. Here are a few options to consider.
Bottom of the price barrel is the Dell E207WFP, which you can buy for around £200 if you scout around the Web. It's an attractive-looking 20-inch display with a thin bezel, and a neat stand, but that's where the positives end. The picture quality is average at best, there's no height adjustment and it'll disappoint if your work involves serious image editing.
Next up is the Asus PW201, a 20-inch model we affectionately call 'the shiniest monitor on the planet'. It has a piano-black bezel and a glossy screen coating, which together make it look like it's covered in Vaseline. The picture quality is very good, particularly when showing movies -- colours look bright and vibrant, and were warmer than those on non-glossy screems. The touch-sensitive controls are annoying, and there's no HDMI or HDCP, but it has an integrated 1.3-megapixel camera so you can take self-portraits or try video calling.
The LG Flatron M203WA is interesting for several reasons. This 20-inch display has a built-in TV tuner so you can watch analogue terrestrial broadcasts, and it has a picture-in-picture feature so you can watch TV while you work in Windows. It doesn't have the best picture quality of this group, and it doesn't come cheap, but it looks good, and has a Scart input so you can connect a DVD player as well as your PC.
If you're serious about image quality you should look at BenQ's FP241W. It's the only 24-inch model here, and is also said (by BenQ) to be the first 'Full HD' monitor with HDMI and HDCP. In other words, it'll run 1080-line videos and will play HD DVD or Blu-ray movies that have copy protection enabled. It's by no means cheap, but it looks gorgeous and has awesome picture quality, plus full height adjustment and pivoting so you can use it in portrait as well as landscape modes.