I have tried a different monitor a 12.1 in LCD, with the exact same results. i'll try my 19in CRT 2moro. for a while it was working better, no flickering just the black bar in the middle of the screen. It seems that it was not recognizing the ATI drivers that i was installing, it kept on using a Microsoft driver.... I don't know if this helps but when watching video it flickers more and i get more virtical lines on the video image. Also if I lower the color depth to 16 bit or 24 bit, i can see more permanent vertical lines about 1 inch apart all the way from the top to the bottom of the screen.
Thanks for all the responses so far. I hope they keep coming.