Don't forget you can also use a DVI-D supporting monitor instead of HDMI, you only need a different cable.
Many older 15 and 17" LCD monitors have a DVI-D (or also useable DVI-I input), just be careful not to end up with a monitor only supporting only DVI-A .
DVI-A is just using another connector to input VGA signals, and that won't work, as the R-PI doesn't output VGA signals.
The DVI connector should have at least two full blocks of 3x3 pins, google for DVI-D pictures, or read the DVI entry in wikipedia if you are unsure.
These monitors are sold secondhand for only a few tenners.
The only drawback to using a (DVI) monitor instead of a HDMI TV is that the monitor doesn't support sound, so you have to use the analog sound output connected to amplified speakerboxes.