I've been in the camp that the Dell 24" computer displays are every bit as good as the Apple displays so why spend the extra money to buy Apple? Well that was before I got up close and personal with the 27" iMac and their new LED backlight displays. The display is so sharp and so crisp that any other monitor we have in the facility looks blurry.
I have found the 24" LED Cinema Display to be equally as good and am now considering changing over all the computer displays in our shop to these despite their cost. Why? Eye strain. The sharper the monitor, the less strain on your eyes.
The beauty of video imagery is really pointless when it comes to a computer display. What really counts is the sharpness of the text.
The sharper the text, you guessed, the less strain on your eyes. Think about it, when you're editing with Final Cut Pro, creating in After Effects, painting in Photoshop, what are you really doing 90% of the time? Reading text in the interface. We have to read the name of the clips, read the parameters of the effect, select the proper tool, etc... Most of the time we are doing this by reading text and numbers.
So if you're reading text and numbers 90% of the time, shouldn't you get a monitor that's well suited for 90% of the work your eyes will be doing? As someone who is now approaching the 2nd half of my life, I can feel eye strain coming on earlier each day. If I can give some sage advice to those of you coming along now, spend some extra money on a sharper computer display to keep your eyes in the best shape possible for the longest time possible.
I'm officially out of the "all computer displays are very similar so don't waste money on the Apple displays" camp. If you can afford at least one of them for your primary monitor, definitely consider it.
Of course the whole Mini Display port throws a monkey wrench into my plans
because all our computers are located in the Machine Room, up to 100' away from the display. I have to figure out how I would get that Mini Display plug from the screen to my DVI Extender so it can feed the computer.... Another one of those things where you just want to say to Apple, "What were you thinking? Did you WANT to make life difficult for those of us actually wanting to BUY this monitor?"