"If you want to minimize artefacts on an LCD you want to set the contrast and white points to their native values (ie. where the monitor is not manipulating the digital signal levels). It may not be easy to figure out what this is."
I agree with this and I have quite a few more controls than those - making for an endless combination of settings. What tools are available to get the monitor to the best point using the controls before one calibrates? It would have to be something quick - perhaps measure DE (or DE94 or DE2000?) based on a few points and report it on a continuously updated basis? Ie, one could just turn the knobs and watch for a drop in average DE.
I ask because I have a monitor that only gets worse (in some areas and overall) when calibrated. So the criteria that calibration is using for maximizing accuracy and what my eyes use are not the same. Ie, I want to calibrate for "looks good and accurate overall", not some technical error value that leads to mild improvements for most areas and horrible/unacceptable results for other areas of the gamut.