It's unfortunate that films shot to be 3-D rarely look nearly as great in flat 2-D going back to the first IMAX documentary, "The Living Sea." This is without any special effects or CGI, of course, which would make the difference even more pronounced. It's the shooting perspective which changes and it's like taking a Panavision film and turning it into a 4:3 pan-and-scan. Shrink it down to the size of a computer screen and, forget it, it will not look much like what is going to appear on the IMAX screen, or even flat on a large Super Panavision screen. The one preview of "Avatar" in 1080i I saw on my big screen LCD screen looked 100% better as it has not been compressed as it is for PC viewing. If they were broadcasting in 1080p, it would even be less compressed. When you loose detail, the picture goes into faint "saw-tooth" pixelized hard edges, although sometimes too small for most people to notice, it dramatically effects the overall image. The shading part of the CGI animation also hasn't been finished on the film to be released and having to put together a teaser trailer from the stage the film was in could have been a mistake. That's the trouble with deadlines, but Cameron knew he needed a holiday release and wasn't about to hold the film back another year -- even a worse mistake.
It might motivate me into buying a new Laptop with the new glare proof screen which doesn't scatter pixels and is capable of Blu-Ray playback and 1080p. The standard of 16:9 also effects the resolution as the Panavision letterboxing also looses about 1/3 of the resolution, making the images really 720i.