<<when designing my site, I used to make them viewable for 800 x 600 but now I quit doing that, since I figured it's time for people to switch to a higher res. >>
You figure? Designers may have some power, but that I know of, we don't have the power to decide for people what they will and will not buy
<<I also tell everyone that designers and computer pro's never use that low res... is this true?? >>
Probably, but so what, unless you're actually designing all your sites for designers and computer pros.
A few things to remember: A lot of people, whatever they have at home, view the web at work. And I know for a fact that a government worker considers himself/herself LUCKY if they have a res of 800x600; many are stuck at 640x480.
Laptops are very popular, and many have a top res of 800x600.
Never assume your audience, unless you're designing an Intranet.