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emacs: ugly characters


how comes that emacs displays the text with ugly characters?  See the
attached screenshots for what I mean: one is from xterm, the other one
is from an emacs frame.

The characters from the emacs frame are somehow messed up. I've tried
different monospace fonts and different sizes, and they all get messed
up alike.  Some sizes don't seem to be selectable with some fonts.  When
I run emacs in xterm, the characters are ok (and the keybindings are
messed up instead).

What could I do about this?  Is there an ideal font to use for emacs?

Attachment: characters-emacs.jpg
Description: characters displayed in an emacs frame

Attachment: characters-terminal.jpg
Description: characters displayed in xterm

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