I made a signal monitor app, its in the market "Real Signal". It's still basic, but it adds a static 5 bar into your notification bar. You can customize the bar signals too.
It grabs the raw signal from the Android OS as some have suggested in other forums/posts the HTC's overrides the stock bar in some fashion.... if the bars are way off, it may be a visual.
However, my signal bar is a 5 bar, where the Eris is 4 bar so it may be a tad different.
I also have the same problem. My signal strength at home and work used to be 3-4 bars. Since my upgrade from 1.5 to 2.1 I get 1-2 bars at best. I've also had dropped calls which I've never had before. I tried the battery pull and reprogramming without any use. Anyone else have any ideas?
I have the same issue with my ERIS. With 1.5, I would get 2-3 bars at home and 4 at work. Which is line of sight (less than half a mile) from a Verizon tower. Now that I updated, I'm down to 1 bar maybe 2 at home and only 2 at work. Granted it may be a bug, but when a bug causes the phone to search for a signal and eat through the battery worse than with 1.5...that is a problem. I usually go by the dBm now since the update. Hovering around -85 to -89 (not terrible) at home and -60 to -68 (fairly good) at work.
I've done the roaming updates to no avail and reprogrammed (*228 option 1) twice now and still no improvement.
This is getting pretty frustrating...especially since I have had no problems with signal on any other phone I've had with Verizon since 2005! With the exception of a Palm Treo...that one was crap to start with.
I also have the same issue with my new ERIS. I used to have 4 bars signal strength at home, now I have 2 bars.
Also, at my vacation home I barely got 1 bar and had many signal drops. Never had that problem with any other phones in my 15 years with Verizon.