Every flat screen monitor, and tv too, that I have ever seen always looks to me to be producing an image some what bowed. maybe it's that we, the user, get's used to the distortion introduced by the crt we normally use, so a screen lacking that distortion looks distorted in comparison?
I have just recently been working at another brakch of the Co. i work for and they all have flat panel LCD's. The image they produce looks realy distorted to me, being used to crt's at home and at my normal branch. it looks to me like an hour glass on it's side, fat at the ends and thin in the middle.
As for the two wires you can see, they are used on some large monitors to support the 'apeture grill' in place within the crt. it's a vital part of the monitor, but the monitor is too big for the grill to be able to support it's own weight, so they add the wires to hold it in place (i believe). I think this grill was introduced in the first place to make flat screens possible to start with, but may be wrong.