Whenever people ask me about what kind of monitor to get, I've always pointed them to 20" LCDs that cost between $230 and $330. If you wanted to get anything bigger than that you would have to spend nearly triple the amount of money to buy a 24" LCD between $750 and $850.
Well now it looks like there is a new kid in town and it's sized in the middle at 22" but priced more like a 20" LCD. A price search showed that a 22" Acer LCD costs as low as $346 if you can get away with no taxes from your state. A Samsung 22" LCD had a total cost of $396. Of course, anyone building a new PC could always opt for 2 20" LCDs at less than $600 and be a lot more productive. Two 22" LCDs for $800 would be even nicer!
You can always stack them side-by-side vertically if space becomes an issue and that would produce an effective working resolution of 2100 by 1680 pixels! Heck, let's stack three of them side-by-side vertically and get 3150 by 1680 pixels but a second video card would be needed and you would need a motherboard that supported two PCI-Express video cards. Considering the fact that a 30" display costs $1500, this would be $1100 for a 39.6 inch diagonal display (excluding the black borders) with higher resolution. Of course we would get some ridiculously large diagonal number if we had stacked the three LCDs horizontally. That might be a bit hard to use since you would have to turn your head too much to see the entire display and the vertical resolution wouldn't be enough.
Any power user, graphics designer, or developer would be a lot more productive with two or three monitors. So what would this look like? I did a little quick and dirty edit of a picture of a horizontal 20" LCD display and made three vertical LCDs stand side by side. The downside to this kind of solution is that you have to deal with the black borders but we must keep in mind that each LCD is wider than the 1024 pixels of a standard XGA monitor.