Is there a way to simulate this without spending $400? Serious question.
Like you I get headaches from looking at CRT screens. I could never stand refresh rates below 80 Hz. The problem is I need a lot of screen real estate and usually the lower end monitors can only do higher resolution at lower refresh rates. Interlace mode is even worse.
So when LED came out I rejoiced. It is a God send for me. I never needed glasses until I was diagnosed with astigmatism. I work exclusively with computers and blame CRT monitors until now.
So while I am bothered by the flicker on LED monitors, I am also thankful for it being a huge improvement over its predecessor.
Only one way to find out
Sure, gameplay is very important but you have to admit - games with better graphics just sell better, although this does directly translate to a better game overall. In real world analogy, males (the target market) would most likely go for the more attractive female (e.g. a sexy blonde) than an average-looking one. This is also the reason why you see so many busty, sexy protagonists in games (e.g. Lara Croft). In the business perspective, it just makes sense to come up with better hardware to end up with better looking games.