My opinion is that there will always be a trade off between battery life, and the size of the phone. The desire has a beautiful big screen (0.2 bigger than the iPish 4
) and that screen uses a lot of juice. The second point is that I use the phone soooo much because of all the social networking etc. and this all takes juice. So, I have invested in a desktop charger, and a spare GENUINE HTC battery. It's no bother carrying that little lump about, and comforting to know you have a whole extra charge full at your disposal. I can't see what the fuss is about.
If you want to see where your battery charge goes, install SystemPanel. It's excellent, and can give you up to a week of historical use with charge/discharge levels and when you have had a charger plugged in. Recommended.
p.s. The battery reporting seems much more realistic on HTC compared to Nokia. All my Nokia's were dead within minutes of reporting less than '25%' left!