How do I stop this monitor from blowing out the highlights? I have used Spectraview to automatically calibrate using the Photo Editing preset, to 120 luminance but the highlights look awful.
You don't say what computer and operating system you are using, as well as whether you had any other profiling software installed prior to the Spectraview program.
I have the NEC 3090, and had it profiled at 140 cd/m2. No highlights were blown, but I gradually lowered the luminance to 120 in conjunction with my print-viewing setup. The only reasons I can think of for what you claim are blown highlights would be "double profiling," where your operating system is calling up a second profile by another profiling program (this could happen by having the other profiler in your startup folder, for example,) or not finding the generated profile where the OS expects it. It is also possible that you are viewing an sRGB file that you are used to seeing on a narrower gamut display. Another possibility is that you are viewing images in a program that does not use color management.