This is a bug in webOS 2.0 - 2.1 Not sure if it's been fixed in Veer. You are probably not in one of the 15 default countries listed under "Regional Settings".
Go to "Launcher" -> "System" -> "Regional Settings" -> "Phone Numbers". From the drop down list of 15 countries pick the country you are in if it's listed or pick "Others". You will be asked if you want to reboot for changes to be effective.
If your location country is listed this will solve your problem. If you are in "Others" this may work for all or some numbers (please don't ask me why).
1. All contact numbers must be stored in +aaa bbb ccc cccc format.
aaa = 2 or 3 digit country code
bbb = 2 or 3 digit area code
ccc = local number
The spaces above between a's, b's and c's are just to clearly segregate. They will not be visible in contact edit mode.
2. If you travel overseas you may or may not need to pick the country you are in again and reboot otherwise the Pre might mess up in recognising numbers from contacts db again.
3. The above eccentricity applies to both incoming calls as well as text messages.
Hope this helps.