The lok of SO was purposefully designed to look a certain way. Part of that look is cleanliness and lack of noise. There is meant to be whitespace around the edges so that it will look the same on all browsers and it will also look the same in many window size formats.
The design of the site is always a single column downward. When anything expands, it expands further downward.
Also note this suggestion does not say "screw those with lower res. screens".
Although this may not be your intention, the result of implementing you suggestion would in fact "screw those with lower res. screens", it would also screw those without widescreens. I don't know how Arjan's statistics handle computers with multiple monitors, but I always have my widescreen monitor with my work on it, and I use my smaller monitor for looking up information, including StackOverflow.
Despite Arjan's claim that the preview window is 660px (it is) the div that contains it is 730px. Which means that the doubled size would have to be 1460px. Also, there's the related items panel, which could extend far enough down to interfere with your preview. This is an additional 220px. So now the minimum screen with would have to be 1680px. Further, you introduce two (both bad) design options. Should the preview screen go on the other side of the "related items" column, which would create a strange and intrusive gap between your answer and your preview; or put the related items at the far edge of the screen, which now makes it nearly inaccessible by being wildly far away from the content it pertains to.
Ultimately, this design change would
- Destroy visual consistency
- Damage aspects of usability (for widescreen users)
- Very much screw low res users.