I just came from a Verizon Corp. store and low and behold there is tech guy from HTC there showing the employees the ins and outs of the Inc. So we got into a discussion about the signal strength meter here is HTCs explanation on why it seems to be wrong. He claims as part of the power management system the phone when not in use meaning not making a call or connected goes into a minimum power mode that also effects the signal meter. He made a call on my phone to how how it works. Once the phone call is placed you immediately see the bars raise and the 3G come on after disconnecting the bars fall again once in the power saving stand by mode. So I guess its not defective after all just very smart.