#how to buy the ideal desk
I find that simple flat, sturdy surfaces make for the best desks.
I have had experience with the IKEA Gallant desks (discontinued), and while the surfaces are ideal, the thickness does not allow for clamping monitor mounts without sandwiching a short block of wood between the desk and the clamp.
It is typically recommended on message board threads on this very subject to simply buy butcher block, or other kitchen counter tops to serve as your desk surface. They are always more than an inch thick, providing a safe mounting point for any monitor clamps. I feel this is a great choice for a desk surface.
$132 - Lowe's 4-ft Natural Straight Butcher Block
The A-legs that are typically sold at IKEA are prone to loosening to a point where it cannot tighten again, so you are stuck with the impossible task of leveling your desk perfectly between four legs that won't adjust to their default lengths. I spent far too many hours trying to repair A-legs and other adjustable legs until I realized that individual legs are just not worth the hassle. To create a durable, sturdy, and level desk, the best option is to purchase heavy-duty trestles.
After exploring several options, I found that two "FINNVARD" trestles from IKEA were the perfect option. They are made of solid wood, are incredibly durable, and as an added bonus, allow for adjustable desk height -- so you get a desk that can alternate between a sitting and standing desk!
$100 = $50 x 2 - FINNVARD
So in short:
Go for solid, flat, durable tops. Kitchen counter tops are great for this. Don't buy the cheaper honeycomb or balsawood surfaces from IKEA such as the LINNMON. These will warp and bend under moderate weight.
Avoid the hassle of having to level 4 different legs, and simplify it with trestles. If you're really broke, get two identical filing cabinets from an office wholesale seller / Craigslist. Don't buy popular adjustable legs from Amazon or IKEA. They are junk.