Sorry for the vagueness. I use the JPEG Fine Setting for Image Quality and the Exposure setting is set to 1/3 by default (it calls it an EV step so I'm not sure if thats the same thing). The ISO is always set on Auto because I'm shooting in Auto mode the majority of the time. I don't know what metering I'm using because I don't see it listed in the camera menu or on the flickr exif data.
For example, with the unedited pics below you can see how the shadows are very dark even though its a clear day:
And when its completely overcast the sky just goes completely white even though I can clearly see variation with my eyes. And if I focus it more on the sky then I just get a dark shadowed silhouette of the building(s).
So right now I just throw a quick crappy contrast preset over my pics so I can try to bring some of the details out (I really don't like spending too much time editing just one pic when I have a thousand more waiting). I'd much rather the pics come straight out of the camera well balanced.
And of course this also means indoor shots aren't an option unless I want a high ISO with noise in it or, god forbid, using the built-in flash. The only option right now is the f1.8 lenses, but I don't have a wide angle prime yet.
I'm really hoping I'm just doing everything wrong...