There's a few things that might have caused my problem, but I'll start from the top.
When I first got the phone, I synced contacts with gmail, and later with Facebook.
I wanted to be able to classify groups of contacts so I went in search of another contacts app. I basically installed all the free programs without finding one I liked.
It was around this time that I noticed about 1/3 of my contacts missing, specifically the ones added manually after getting the phone. (The ones that remain are the ones that Verizon pulled off my old phone)
At this point, I uninstalled all the 3rd party contacts apps, un-synced the contacts with both Facebook and gmail, then re-synced with gmail.
Although my contacts are currently synced with gmail, none of my google contacts are showing. Several of the phone book apps I uninstalled did show my gmail contacts, although the official app does not.
I also rebooted the phone via the standby button \ power off.
Any help would be appreciated...
EDIT: Here's another weird thing, whether I am synced with gmail or not, I can still access my missing contacts through old messaging threads, and they still show up on caller ID with pictures and everything.