Jakob Nielsen is an expert on usability. I was reading his article on what screen size and resolution web pages should be optimized for, and I saw this comment.
Many users have large displays. Currently, about 18% of users have at least 1280×1024. The percentage of users with big screens is growing, though not as fast as I would like. Big monitors are the easiest way to increase white-collar productivity, and anyone who makes at least $50,000 per year ought to have at least 1600×1200 screen resolution. A flat-panel display with this resolution currently costs less than $500. So, as long as the bigger display increases productivity by at least 0.5%, you’ll recover the investment in less than a year. (The typical corporate overhead doubles the company’s per-employee cost; always remember to use loaded cost, not take-home salary, in any productivity calculation.)
The most annoying thing is that I have a great 1600×1200 screen that I bought myself at home. My computer system at work is so old and slow it is painful to use, I prefer to use my own computer whenever I can.