Its primarily a matter of the market. The market for HDTV and DVD screens is becoming far larger and much more lucrative than it is for notebook monitors. HDTV and DVD both use the Wide format. So, it makes sense to the manufacturer to design and make Wide screens and simply siphon off a portion of their production for use as notebook monitors. Hopefully that will help improve quality and quantity as the general public, while not so picky about resolution, will not accept either ghosting or bad pixels (imagine Joseph/Josophine Q. Publick's reaction to a bunch of bad pixels and Customer Service explaining the # pattern and which sectors can have how many boo-boos). Remember, JQP is paying about 3x the cost of a similar CRT screen or its a big 42" plus doggy at around $3K and is most likely looking at the screen in the store and if the one that comes out of the box when they get home isn't like the one in the store, there will be serious problems.
As to whether Wide is better, that's pretty much a personal thing though there is the point that Wide mimics the ratio of human vision (180 degrees horizontal x 100 degrees vertical) better. Personally, I like it better as it allows me to have two full pages side by side, for word processing, spreadsheets or CADD.
The reason CRTs aren't changing over is CRT is pretty much a deadend technology. There's a limit to how big you can make them and they don't have nearly the "tres chic" factor. Yeah, yeah, there will always be the legacy tech folks that will want CRT (its better I tell ya, ya young pukes don't know nuttin). But JQP wants 'cool tech' and right now 'cool tech is LCD and plasma. I suspect they have advantages in cost of production over CRT as well as not having nearly as much nasty by- and waste-products. Not sure on that but its what I suspect.