Wow. An 18 year old thread, come back to life! Well, it does show you are doing your research before asking questions, so kudos to you!
As Ross says, that doesn't sound unreasonably low. The GenII has twice as many bars as the Gen1, but it's just a finer granularity -- the range is the same. So, roughly two Gen2 bars = one Gen1 bar.
In cold weather on the open highway, my Gen1 (Pandora) would show 1 or 2 bars, 3 bars in warm weather, 4 bars in stinking hot weather. My Gen2 (Legacy) shows 2 or 3 bars in cool weather, 3 or 4 in warm weather. The Gen2 radiator is larger and more efficient at cooling, so the Gen2 doesn't seem to get as hot as fast in hot weather.
I don't suffer much stop and go city riding, but I have seen 5 bars on Pandora once when caught behind a pile up in the summer. I don't think I've seen more than 6 in slow traffic on Legacy.