Re: happy with new monitor
first tip: move the task bar to one side on a 16:9 or 16:10 monitor. That will already reclaim 5% of the vertical space.
2nd tip: keep your windows out of full screen for most program, as few use such width. Use win7 ability to set full vertical with ~60% width. This way, you can keep 2 tasks on the desktop at once.
This has helped me switch to 16:9, this also works great on 16:10. Especially on huge monitors (25"+).
As the universe is curved, there cannot be a straight answer...