"With a 1280 by 1024-pixel work area for displaying your page layouts, digital image files and spreadsheets, the 17-inch Apple Studio Display features a screen resolution thats higher than you typically get with a 21-inch CRT behemoth"
Any 21", most 19" and some 17" CRT displays can display 1600x1200 pixels. flat displays typically have higher resolutions than similar-sized CRT, so I'd expect to get from this new display what I get from a 19" CRT - 1600x1200.
This is especially important since your typical $500 digicam today produces a 1600x1200 image, and since OSX uses larger screen elements than previous versions.
I use my 19" CRT with 1600x1200 for OSX and 1280x1024 for OS9. I would have liked to be able to do the same with a flat display. Definitely if I was paying a thousand bucks for it.
A resolution that high coupled with a screen area of that size would be good for audio recording, or perhaps working in dreamweaver, but for graphic design, the idea is to have a monitor that displays 72ppi. I have the 21" Studio Display (giant blue thing), but I've had it set at 1152x870 the majority of the time.
Unless the next step down in native resolution for that panel makes it display at 72dpi, I think that they're going to have a hard time convincing graphic designers (who make up a huge portion of Apple's market share) to jump on the flat panel bandwagon.
Res aside, the color variation (depending upon where you hold your head) when looking at the screen makes it less than ideal for graphics folks. And gamers would do better with a CRT as it can work res-switches no problem, while anything less than the max res on a CPU goes through a interpolative process that leaves the screen muddy.
I run 1152x870 on my 17" CRTs (got two on the mac). This is about the same DPI as that 17" flatscreen would be, as it's running @ 1280x1024, and it's got one inch more viewable space on the screen (my 17" CRT has 16.0" visible area).
I think 1600x1200 is a touch high for a 19" screen--ideal for 21" tho. I wish there was some sort of in-between for 19" screens, like 1480x1110 or something. I don't think that's supported on most cards coming w/ the Macs.