quicktip: to easily see how your screen/browser, etc. handles the different font sizes, and potentially correct any problems a setting might cause, simply:
Hold down Ctrl while moving your mouse wheel up/down.
It will change your font size. This works in IE, but not in Mozilla. In Mozilla, you would need to go to edit ->preferences->fonts
Some web pages do a great job of scaling, like yahoo's homepage. Others are horrible, like anything on AOL.
Mozilla is a simple, easy download and installation, and the transition from IE to mozilla is almost completely painless. you don't even have to get rid of IE. I have also found mozilla to be a far superior product, with built in pop-up blockers, and additional security features that have put a stop to a lot of malicious crap i used to get all the time with IE. The download is small, and it's FREE.
MD, you are precisely right, i think. People see a higher number on a computer and immediately assume it is better and they should get it. My stepdad has a GeForce4 TI (4600?) on his computer....he paid extra for it from Dell....the only games he ever plays are solitaire and minesweeper, but boy the marketing guys convinced him he needed it. He also got the Dell LCD monitor. Can't remember the resolution it displays at natively, but it's high, greater than 1024x768. In any case, at native resolution it is sharp and crisp and clear... and the text is too small for the old man's eyes. However, it drives me nuts to look at the blurry blurry screen when it's in a necked down resolution. Apparently it doesn't bother him, because he blew a nut when i changed the monitor to it's native reso., even after i showed him how to increease the font size....aparently his eyes are bad enough that he doesn't notice the blurry, as well as not being able to see the smaller text. He also got a DVD burner he never uses, and over 100GB of free disk space on his hard drive he'll never use, except when i come over and transfer files to his computer so I can burn them on DVD's with his burner!
bottom line is that people buy computer stuff without having any idea what to do with it or what it's for or if they need it or have any use for it. Most people also aggresively fear and avoid having to make any changes to the set way that they interact with and use their computers (unless they are alpha geeks like many of us who just like to play all day with their toys). Most manufacturers aggresively pitch their latest and greatest technology and products without taking the time to educate their customers on what any of it means or does, and without taking any time to understand what their customers true needs are. This is a recipe for frustration for anyone who is not a geek, as it inevitably means that powerful, complex tools will be placed in the hands of people who have very little idea how to use them, and usually very little need for them, who usually end up either pissed at the manufacturer, the OS vendor, the computer itself and computers in general, and often with a broken computer as they vainly mangle their machine in an attempt to make it work the way they want it to. Add in that MS has really done an awful job (i think) at making "under the hood" settings changes for computers intuitive and easy to work with, and it's no wonder people get confused.
This is why i have a t-shirt that says "NO! I WILL NOT FIX YOUR F**CKING COMPUTER!"
Incidentally, though, anyone posting in these forums about being unhappy with their selected screen resolution doesn't really have a right to. This forum is filled with pages and pages of information and opinions about the different reso's, and which reso's are more adequately suited for what tasks and the differences between them. Most importantly, it seems that every other post on screen resolutions states that most of all it is a matter of individual preference, and that everyone should go to bestbuy and compare the different screen resolutions b4 making a decision. So it's not like there wasn't plenty of advice available here b4 you bought. And if you bought without doing any research, well i guess u learned a valuable lesson.