I’ve also carried 24 inch LCDs (twice!) in checked in baggage from Chicago to Calcutta wrapped in clothes, and both survived. It’s actually very common for Indians to buy TVs in Bangkok and just get on the flight while checking in the new TV, in the box. Some airlines charge a little extra for this.
If you’re really serious about traveling and using a desktop for dev, I’d strongly advise looking at Intel’s new broadwell NUCs. I’ve got a Mac mini, but given the direction Apple’s going with the newer ones, it’s pretty much a given that my next desktop’s going to be an NUC, hauled back by me or a friend whenever someone’s in the US (they’re twice the price or more in India, due to import duties). You could throw two (or four, for that matter) of them in your backpack and not worry about computer parts / upgrades / replacements for quite a while.
NUCs are also much cheaper than the usual Macbook + external monitor approach, so you worry about them less. I still use a 13 inch Air for motorcycle / train travel, but I’m much more productive with two giant LCDs on a desk.
Ever tried a 4K display? Do you program, by any chance?