So for those who have wondered about the difference a monitor can make I can say now from my own experience YES IT CAN make a lot of difference.
I have had thoughts as to whether to keep persevering with photography due to struggling to work out if it was me or my equipment but considering me more than my gear.
Until now I have only had access to second hand CRT then various LCD monitors and when reviewing my photos I have not been very satisfied with the results even after basic processing, hence the lack of images posted.
Today I have just purchased my first new monitor and although still a cheap model compared to what is available, the difference from my own perspective is that it was worth it to the extent that it has given me a glimmer of hope and possibly more.
The model I purchased was an LG IPS LED 23EA53 at $183's and the photos I was getting ready to delete have just been save from the delete button although not all as some are multiples of the same thing when trying so some will be kept.
The difference in clarity and sharpness even before being processed to the extent that some could almost be printed with out sharpening (almost) and the cable I'm using is only a VGA or D-sub so not sure how much a DVI or HDMI cable will make. I am also only running a cheap 256Mg card, but that will have to wait for now.
Needless to say I am more than happy with the lower price end of this type of monitor and can't wait to get started learning to process my images with a lot more enthusiasm.
So if your holding out to make the upgrade because of not knowing if it is worth it and you have the $'s to spare then from my perspective I believe it is and hope this helps toward you being able to make that decision a bit easier.