well back in the olden days starting in 2005 when Amber was born, video monitors were not that common, and besides for the first 2 months she was on a heart rate monitor that made anything else completely unnecessary (it was loud as shi*!), but eventually we ended up with a Fisher Price one. I don't remember the model, in my mind the less fancy the better, like noise and bird songs and night light features, those r largely not needed and not that useful anyway. Beware of buying monitors though bc just bc the signal works great in other Amazon.com reviewers houses, does NOt mean it will work in yours! Keep receipts and boxes.
And as a quick aside, I agree w what someone else said about the Internet and doing research on baby products and methods...whatever, everyone knows I'm a big over-researcher:) but the most efficient way is to sometimes just browse a baby store or bookstore and see what jumps out at you or catches your attention.
Back to baby monitor - we have a different fisher price one now, and it works fine. I see the appeal of video monitors but u can definitely get by without one, and besides, I think it can sometimes give u a false sense of security if they seem to be sleeping peacefully or not moving, when really, they r screaming their heads off :)
Monitors r also great travel companions so u can have a little bit of freedom on a hotel balcony or outside at a vacation house, bc in the beginning they sleep a ton, and are light and portable, so its acyually a great time to take them places.
We got a video system in the new house, so we had that for the 4th child, but, it was just a video screen in the kitchen, so we still used the sound monitor.
Hope this is helpful!