For a long time I thought my desktop computer's monitor could only go up to 1280x1024 because that is as high as I could get it to go in Windows 98 SE. More recently I discovered Linux had actually set it to 1600x1200. However, after updating my Kubuntu installation from Breezy to Dapper I found out it can actually go all the way up to 2048x1536; however, set that high the font is a little unbearably small, but setting it down to 1920x1440 leaves things relatively comfortable. This explains why the font looked so small while VNCing from my laptop yet so big on my desktop.
Yes, you can all say "Wow" and bow before my monitor. ;-)