I actually have an Eizo CE240W, a Mitsubishi DP900U CRT and a cheap viewsonic lcd. It's hard to compare monitors in a store. What you may perceive clarity and sharpness may well be the factory settings that manufacturers use to entice buyers. For example, many manufacturers tend to set their monitors at D75 because our eyes perceive a blue dominant as "brighter" hence better. Similarly, one HDTV manufacturer set a new model of hdtv to its highest, albeit interpolated, resolution, thus the image looks (wrongly) sharper. One of the areas where Eizo (and other high end manufacturers such as lacie, barco etc) excel is the ability to accurately reproduce color. The difference between a $600 monitor and a, say, $2,000 monitor may not be obvious on an average image, but starts becoming noticeable when one works with images that span the range of a wide color space. Another difference I notice everyday between my cheap Viewsonic and my Eizo is the light source. I can see where the light source comes from in my viewsonic, especially when I am displaying dark images. I cannot tell where the light comes from in my Eizo. I have heard reports that many consumer based monitors have a few dead pixels. Apparently, this is considered acceptable in the industry. However, the consumer is hardly ever informed. Another difference is that I can fully calibrate my Eizo via hardware calibration (not software) which is something a $600 monitor liekly won't have. At the end of the day you have got to figure out your needs first and buy the best monitor you can afford for your needs.