Long-time Apple fan (128K Mac in 1984). Purchased iPhone3G on release day. Over the past two weeks have noticed that, except for the demo that was given with my phone at the time I purchased it, I have NEVER gotten more than two bars in 3G--most of the time it is just the single dot. As a result, 3G performance is poor. My first gen. iPhone on EDGE performs better than the new iPhone3G. Now, we are not talking here about a problem with some obscure functionality of the iPhone3G. We are talking about the primary and preeminent feature of this new phone--the fact that it is usable as a 3G phone. Went to AT&T store (Highland Park, IL). Two, long-time employees said that they have never seen a iPhone3G with more than two bars in 3G mode. They said that that was normal. They have a cell tower (that they said was 3G-enabled) about 1,500 feet north of the store. I checked AT&T's coverage viewer and that AT&T store, as well as most of the Chicago area, are in the deep blue coverage area, indicating 3G reception just about everywhere I use the phone. The store employees said that because their other-brand 3G phones show five-bar reception, they assume it is an Apple issue. After leaving the store I drove in an approximate 1/2-mile diameter circle around the cell tower because the AT&T people said that the signal was not omni-directional. They said the signal was stronger in the opposite direction from their store. My drive showed no difference in any direction around the cell-site. Made a genius bar appointment and went to Apple store (Northbrook Court). While waiting in the store for the appointment, I found I had all five bars on 3G even though I was deep in a store in an enclosed mall. This was the first time I had ever seen the phone with this kind of reception (except for the day I bought it). Embarrassed at the situation, when my name was called, I jokingly asked the genius if they had a cell-site in the store. To my amazement, he said "yes"!!! So, You try out your new iPhone3G in the store and it display tremendous performance because, unbeknownst to you, you are only 100 feet from a cell-site (or, likely, just a repeater). Not far outside of the store (200 feet), the coverage drops off and you are back to the same old poor 3G reception. This is almost like fraud!!! I've been sold something and shown that it does work in the store, but once "in the wild" that same performance is unavailable, even though the carrier, AT&T, proffers maps showing availability. It's not like I am out in the boonies here. This is Chicago. Home of Motorola and the first cellphone. I'm a pretty easy-going guy, but this is starting to piss me off. AT&T points the finger at Apple and Apple points the finger at AT&T. What gives here?