I've found that these resolutions look better or worse depending on the monitor. On my 17" acerview 76c 1280x1024 looks great, but on my brothers Acer 17" V771 is looks somewhat squashed, and in the 17" LG at work both 1280x1024 and 1280x960 look pretty much the same.
Also 1280x960 is not supported natively by a lot of monitors (mostly 17 inchers and even some 19") and therefore you can't select refresh rates higher than 60hz.
just my 2 cents
Sometimes I hate being right everytime.