"About 20% of people (including myself) find the effect most unpleasant: it sacrifices contrast, and makes the display look out-of-focus, causing eye-strain."
Perhaps that 20% would largely consist of owners of 1024x768 resolution monitors or worse. The "high contrast" you perceive in a black/white font is actually aliasing, an effect that is in general, highly unpleasant. Theory says it goes away completely when the highest spatial frequency of the source image is less than half the pixel grid spacing. This is achieved by low pass filtering, aka anti-aliasing. Reality is, for accurate image display you also need gamma correction, otherwise the intensity curve of a standard RGB monitor is wildly wrong. And the pixel spacing has to be less than what your eye can resolve, which the real test is not whether you can see jaggies or not (jaggies produce an easily perceivable nonlocal intensity variation) but whether you can count the number of lines in a series of one pixel stripes.
If you insist on using black/white text display then you need a really high resolution display to make the jaggies go away, but if you display properly band-limited images you will likely be fine with a display with just modestly improved resolution. Your goal is to get the highest, non-aliasing spatial frequency down below the resolution of your eye. To put this to the test all you have to do is move back from the monitor, increasing the point size of the font as you go until any perceived blurriness disappears. There is always such a distance and it is not as great as you think. Then the ratio between that distance and the distance at which you would actually like to view the screen is the amount by which you need to increase your linear pixel density.