I've noticed this since I got it on Dec 1st. I'm an ex-7750 owner and I was ALWAYS in 1X between work (Soho) and home (Northern NJ). With the new 7130, I go between 1XEV, 1X and even drop to 1x which means I can't get email or browse even at slow speeds. Some trips in, it works flawlessly while other times, I'll get sporadic issues data service issues. Normally I'd get 1 or 2 of those in a row and then it goes through.
When it works great, it's terrific. I wish the browser title bar showed 1x, 1X or 1XEV on it. Would be helpful.
I haven't used a non-7130e EVDO phone so I really don't know how another device, in the same location at the same time, would match what I'm seeing.