Dell has sales on these if you're patient. I've seen them as low as $750 brand new.
As much as I dislike Dell's desktops and laptops their screens have been excellent. I've had a 2001FP, 2008WFP and now a U2411 and all of them have been great. The 2001FP I purchased in '04 is still alive and kicking.
I had a 2001FP years back and there ended up with dust or something behind the screen that were visible when using anything but dark colors. I was not pleased with that, but other than that it was nice.
And I know plastic isn't necessarily bad. My monitor now is plastic and its fine. But if I'm spending that much money, I want it to be solid and, this may be a little hoserish, but the aesthetic of the apple will match my macbook pro. I also do a bunch of skype/facetiming from my laptop. When its in the dock, I can't. The choices for a decent mac compatible webcam are slim, essentially limited to the $99 Logitechs, thus the apple 'kind of' saves me $100.
I'm leaning towards the Apple, but I'm not dead set on it yet. Are there any options I'm not finding?
Forgot to mention that I DO have another PC that I'd LIKE to have hooked up, so the Apple minus of only having a single display input is a fairly big minus.