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I just checked all of the top 10 retail websites (per internet retailer) and every one of them are set up for 1024. Buy.com (actually #24 on the list) was the mindblower for me, they are at 1280!
I'm staying at 1024, but I feel a little more comfortable there now...
If you are using a fixed-width site at 1024 pixels, I won't use it. I don't run my browser full-screen, and I don't do sideways-scrolling. The larger the screen resolution, the smaller the number of users running the browser window full screen. What's more, 800x600 is still above 40% usage for a general audience.
The only reasonable options available are fliud (the best) or a 780px absolute maximum if you decide to go fixed-width. Anything else, and you're losing visitors.
The latest stats I saw had 800x600 at 33% of Internet traffic. The other 67% was at a larger resolution.
Thank goodness that we're finally starting to see 800x600 go away. We've been stuck with that tiny resolution for so long
I'm not so sure this is a good thing. Too many sites out there are stuffed to the point of distraction. I click away from sites all the time because the kneejerk filling of screen real estate is overwhelming. If a user can't see what they want in a glance (usually the glance you get while the page is still loading) many of them are gone without an eye-bat.
What's nice about 1024x768 is that it makes a nice 750px wide layout look very clean, with a nice buffer of empty background space on either side. But if it's an excuse to jam more c*ap onto the page, don't be surprised if usability drops off.