I have a I9000 with poor reception. I've upgraded firmware to JV9
Using *#0011# I can look at the strength. As I sit here it bouces around all over the place from -83 to -255 with it spending most of the time around -110. The I can get 3 bars but I still have "Emergancy calls only"
I know that I'm in a poor signal area but I had no reception on out near Durry yesterday and my mate was making calls on his phone. Not impressed.