I guess you need to consider the features that you consider desirable and affordable. e.g.:
- wide gamut
- high pixel density (I like 132ppi or more. Some are as low as 89 ppi)
- screen ratio (I prefer 16:10 to 16:9 as it gives more pixels vertically for the same width)
- physical size
- on-board computer and colour lookup table
- uniformity of colours and tones
- controllable black and white points, or an equivalent such as white point and contrast ratio
- ease of calibration and profiling
- glossy vs anti-glare finish (I hate glossy for working with photos)
- etc., etc.
In terms of specific monitors I'm afraid that I cannot advise you.
I would look at the NEC PA series. Plan on getting the software if you already have a calibration puck. They sell a kit of software and puck but you can sometimes get a better deal by purchasing separately.
I have a Dell 2711 and am very happy with it great wide gamut monitor. I also have a Auria 27" from Microcenter a $399 alternative. It is sRGB and not wide gamut but is also good a tiny bit of light bleed in the bottom corners hardly noticeable and dose not reach into the photos when editing. I have no problem suggesting it to someone on a budget. Both calibrate very nicely.
I would look at the NEC PA series. Plan on getting the software if you already have a calibration puck. They sell a kit of software and puck but you can sometimes get a better deal by purchasing separately.Doug
After a lot of research I went with the PA241W and NEC's calibration system. Calibrating was straightforward and I've been very happy with the monitor and accuracy. I think I spent about $1200 on the monitor/puck/software package from BH four or five months ago.