I have a Dell IPS monitor which I think is pretty decent. I find myself continually adjusting the gamma in games. Is there an adjustment I should make somewhere so the monitor will display a full range of whites and blacks?
Throw up a standard 0-255 grayscale test image and see if it shows all the steps. If so, you're good. Games have no standard to calibrate to, so fiddling with brightness/gamma is just something that happens. Games tend to have a lot of mid-range and darker imagery. The desktop has a lot of white. Running the desktop at a brightness level good for most games is just painful to look at.