Do the LCD monitors not last as long as the old CRTs used to?
In my experience, no, but it may depend on the monitor. I have a ViewSonic monitor that is quite old now and still works fine.
I still have some CRT monitors sitting around from old computers: the computers came and went and the monitors still live on.
At least you have them as a backup.
Any preferences on monitor manufacturer? I know that "Dell" won't be on my list!
I can only say that ViewSonic was good years ago. Maybe they still are. I'm not really satisfied with the HP monitor I have now. Check reviews at Newegg and Amazon. Some people have had trouble with Samsung monitors not playing their games (getting a "not optimum mode" message on screen that won't go away), though this may be a model-specific problem. Matty had this problem ***here***
and I've seen messages from people with the same problem on other forums. If you do get a Samsung, check reviews to make sure it's not a model that is prone to this problem.
If you want recommendations, let us know what size monitor you're looking for.