Must be my eyes but on my 24" screen can't see a damn thing when it is set to small icons. Simpler to use auto hide if you want the space.
I have 3 x 24" monitors so the taskbar is not an issue for me
Yes, LCD screens are a problem for my eyes too. Clarity of vision is essential. My laptop is a 14" display, and I couldn't read it without wearing specs. I have to use prescription reading glasses for reading, but they are of no use for reading the laptop display, because it is approx. twice as far away as one would hold a book, and the shallow depth of field of the specs doesn't cover the distance.
After some trial-and-error, I found that a pair of cheap ($10.00) 1.5 magnification off-the-shelf reading glasses from a supermarket did the trick. They have quite a deep
depth of field, which enables me to use them for easy reading of the laptop, and
for reading labels on products on supermarket shelves at roughly arm's length, and
for reading a book if I don't have my reading specs handy (the prescription reading specs are preferable for books as they magnify the print a bit more than the cheaper specs).
If I want to see close up on something small - e.g., when soldering on a printed circuit board - I find that bringing both
pairs of specs down in front of my eyes works a treat.
I always wear the cheaper specs on a lanyard around my neck. Thus exposed, they occasionally get broken, but it's not the sort of heart-stopping event as when you break your expensive prescription glasses.