I did endless research, looked at pretty much every monitor on the market (including $1,000+ apple monitors)
I ended up with my 27'' HP (debranded) And I couldn't be more happy with it. It sits right next to my wifes 24'' Imac. While my monitor isn't even in the same ballpark as hers, it looks **** near close to as good !
Check out Geeks.com they have some KILLER deals. 27" HP De-Branded DVI/HDMI 1080p Widescreen LCD Monitor w/Speakers (Black/Silver) TS-27m9
There are 2 main things you need to decide when looking @ monitors, Gloss VS Matte finish. Gloss is going to give you a MUCH better contrast ratio, BUT be wickid anoying if your room is NOT relativly light controlled. Matte is better for an office setting, but in no way shape or form is EVER going to look better than a comparable gloss screen.