Four MUSTs for a reference universal monitor:
#1. Photographic quality picture with no issues (color shifting, washout, etc.).
#2. At least two digital inputs with 1080p support (to provide a quality connection with PC and an external device simultaneously).
#3. Capability to reduce eye strain (autobrightness and range of brightness controls, legible dot pitch, ergonomics).
#4. Responsiveness is suitable for multimedia use.
Those are comprehensive assessment criteria to see how close to perfection is a monitor.
Now, back to the Dell 2408.
As a VA monitor, the Dell 2408 does not pass #1.
Nevertheless, if you manage to squeeze you standard gamut images between Scylla of color shifting and Kharibda of wide gamut issues – this is a great display.
The Dell 2408 covers #2, #4 and partially #3. This is very good for a mid-level monitor.
If you want something better – you go to the next level for some extra $x00.
Look at this scheme. This is my subjective view of today’s (2008) consumer monitor market map.