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[IP] Freestyle test strips

A couple weeks ago, I finally replaced my 4-year-old AccuChek Complete
meter with a Freestyle.  In my first prescription of 200 test strips,
BOTH 100-strip boxes have had one 25-strip vial that was defective.
(The little half-circles where you're supposed to apply the blood were
in the center of the strip, in a full circle, so the strip wouldn't take
blood).  When I found the first "defective" vial I took it back to the
pharmacy, and they replaced it with a box of 50.  When I encountered the
second one (today), I called TheraSense.  They said they'd send 30
strips as a replacement.  The guy I talked to said this was "unusual",
but he seemed to know what I was talking about right away when I
described the problem. (Both boxes DID have the same lot number). He
didn't even offer an apology for the inconvenience. I was just wondering
if  any other Freestyle users have encountered this problem?  Or am I
just unlucky?

I'm starting to wonder if the Freestyle was really the best choice of
meters.  I like the small sample size and the alternate site testing,
but one of my main "dislikes" is that you have to hold the strip to the
blood sample for several seconds before it will soak up the blood.
Depending on the sample location, that can be awkward.   I'm wondering
if  the Ultra might have been a better choice (although I'm not sure how
well I'd be able to do forearm-testing with the Ultra.  A lot of times I
can barely get enough blood on my forearm for the Freestyle, and the
Ultra requires more than 3x as much).

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