Yes you would be able to switch.
LCD monitors normally run at 60Hz.
1280x1024 is the standard resolution of non-widescreen 17" and 19" LCD monitors. Get a 19", not 17" - there's not a huge price difference, and 19" is sooo much better.
If you want a widescreen monitor you may be OK too.
If you want to see all the resolutions your chip can cope with, when you go to the Display Properties, go to the Monitor settings and UNtick the box that says "Hide settings etc" - then do to the adapter settings and click List all modes. Take that list with you when choosing a monitor.