part a: I have been all over the area even to different towns and my droid refuses to do anything more that 1X or 1x.
I have had my droid off for about 3 months due to work issues and no money to pay for that extra, but a few weeks ago I did verizons #225 or whatever it is to turn the phone back on and switch my number to it. I set up the data plan and there ya go.
I noticed it isn't going to 3G any longer. My bro has the same verizon motorola droid and I asked him and HE gets 3G all the time. >_>
part b: why does my phone randomly run things I don't even turn on like the alarm or facebook or slacker, etc?! Trust me, I am religious on killing tasks to save battery.