using my new tft screen i realised how bad my 19inch (5 year old) trinitron is compared to it when it comes to colours and fineness.
is this because the monitor is old or is it just that the tft is much better at sharpness and displaying colours better.
First off, I would disagree with your assessment. Yeah, the TFT looks fresh with a plain desktop. Try running a high-speed game. The Sony is capable of higher resolution and refresh rates. There's no contest.
Newer Viewsonic displays and some others have a brightness boost that puts them on level ground. That's where the CRT stomps the TFT.
Flat panel displays are like laptops. If you need one, you buy it. If you have the space, CRT is still the best.