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742 px is even safer because of some older Mac browsers, but they've fallen way below 1% of users so I decided to use the extra pixels -- usually for wider padding and margins. I love white space.
I'd say you should go with dynamic screen width if possible. It has the best browsibility and alot easier for your visitors' eyes if they have a big screen.
...Someone with an 800x600 screen AND a side panel open does get a horizontal scroll bar -- but they can close the panel!
tedster . . . are you suggesting the user alter their browsing habits to conform to your site? For SHAME! :-)
I love white space.
"Then get your coat and go sell some ads to fill up that space, mister!" (Quote from a previous employer when I said that. Needless to say, I never said it again, I am an awful salesman. :-) )
Shoot, that's why panels toggle so easily.