good article with some chart candy which basically says ATT is worthless.

A Day in the Life of 3G - PC World

How did Sprint get some a bad rep?

"Somewhat surprisingly, our testers also found that the "bars of service" readings on their phones were rarely an accurate predictor of the quality of the ensuing connection. In most places and with most wireless providers, the "bars" did little more than indicate whether the phone had access to some service or to no service."

I guess more bars in more places doesn't mean shiet.