When LCD's came out, they were simply not as good in the shadows as a good CRT, hence, you needed to run them fairly high, 130~140cd/m2 or so to get a mere glimpse of shadow detail. Now that we are perhaps seven years or so past their debut, they are much much better now. 110cd/m2 will render great shadow detail on a quality LCD calibrated/profiled properly.
Another more anecdotal issue, CRT's generally were designed to run at 80~85cd/m2. Hence, you needed to view them in a fairly dim environment. If you did not have access to a dim environment, and attempted to crank them up to nuclear frying levels of 90, 100, 110, etc, you were guaranteed to prematurely burn out the CRT's phosphors. Not good. When the LCD's came out, and it was found that they could run brighter natively, so there was this stampede 'out of the cave' and folks began to enjoy working in more friendly environments. Soon the mantra became 'the brighter the better', and attempts to match the monitor to the whites of a print in a viewing booth were simply tossed out the window. Not good. The new iMac's run at over 200cd/m2 out of the box and it takes some effort to get them down to proper ICC standards.