I think it’s because not many people play on the PC. I would agree with the player matches suggestion and say aim for a 4 bar connection, but 3 bars isn’t always so bad. I’ve never been able to play a 5 bar connection for very long. I always get booted for skill level differences, so don’t get your hopes up if you see one (actually, about half the time either the other player doesn’t select ‘ready’ or boots me before we even play. I don’t get it.). I’ve also found that creating a lobby somehow gets you better connections. Might just be a coincidence, though.
What’s worse than bad connections is when people play on slow computers and the game crawls. I don’t understand how people can enjoy playing the game at half speed. You can’t even tell if someone has a slow computer until you play them.
SF4 on the PC is my first fighting game, and at first I was having trouble beating anyone. If you’re in the same situation, I’d suggest trying G3 championship mode out. The connections won’t be any better, but at least you’ll be scraping the bottom of the barrel for players. Every once in a while you’ll run into someone who doesn’t belong there, but the majority of the matches should be of pretty low quality (lol). It’ll change once you hit G2, so you’ll have to work a little bit more for those wins if you continue in CM. But just getting some wins in G3 is nice for the self-esteem when you’re starting out.