The market in computer monitors sure has been distorted recently by the ready availability of HDTV LCDs. If you go to buy a bog-standard monitor retail, 1920x1024 is pretty much all you can find. And, at the sizes of these monitors, 1920x1024 isn't that great. That's the resolution of my phone's screen; it looks fantastic at the size of a phone.
You can buy monitors that are higher-res than that, but they're still considered specialty items. The prices aren't bad, considering, but they have less market penetration because 1920x1024 is considered good-enough.
I think this is going to be a problem for a while longer, because, while manufacturers are trying hard to push "Ultra HD" TVs, I don't see them becoming popular any time soon. There's no ultra-high-res content to play on them, regular HDTV content doesn't look any better on them, and as TVs that resolution is probably overkill anyway unless your screen is truly gigantic. But this has the annoying side effect of computer monitors that are just repurposed TVs, even though a 24-inch monitor could really use more pixels than that.
(Update: I guess it's actually 1920x1080, as in 1080p. Not much difference, of course.)