Well, the swipe needs to work properly the 1st time, no doubt, but there are good reasons for having a swipe instead of a simple touch. I don't know for sure what device you have, but the Motorola A855 is ONLY a touchscreen device (which is a BAD idea). An incoming call could ring the phone, activate the unit, and "answer" or go "off-hook" unintentionally, and quite possibly simply laying face-down somewhere if a sequence were not required to put the unit in an off-hook state. (You realize that charges would apply and accumulate whenever the telephone function is off-hook don't you?) You'd be out-complained about 1,000,000 : 1 by others if that were to happen.
The swipe is a fine function. If yours doesn't work that's another problem.
Do you have any other problems with your device responding to your touch? It is possible that there is a hardware defect in your device, and you need to have it replaced or repaired. It is more likely however that you aren't touching it firmly with your fingertip skin. Motorola's choice of touch sensing type is different than most other touchscreens have been to date, and it's NOT very sensitive to hard, dry calloused fingertips. I'm not in love with it either, but there are pros and cons.
The A855 "DROID" has been a bit of a disappointment to me, it's sure not perfect. I might be happier with an Eris or Nexus, maybe even a Palm. Still, if the 3 parents would listen to the users out here and make fixes things would get a lot better.