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I use crv3 batteries in my Pentax istD. Believe it or not, they last over a year! Keep in mind that the simple act of testing the voltage of a crv3 will shorten its life. Have you tried cleaning the battery contacts in the camera with a cotton swab lightly dampened with rubbing alcohol? Sometimes, an invisible film on the contacts forms and gives a false reading of battery life.
Go to the following page and select category "cameras", sub category "Digital SLR" & you will find all the *istDS manuals for download:
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Battery charge indicators don't measure actual charge but voltage because there is no cost-efficient method to measure battey charge directly.
Instead, batteries are designed so that voltage goes down with charge. Now, the difficult thing is that not all batteries behave in the same manner. It is actually very hard to predict how a battery menufactured by xyz behaves.
I would guess that Pentax engineers did not have Energizer AA's in their mind when they defined the voltage alert level. I would suspect that the battery status indicator is calibrated for the CR-V3 batteries that were included with the camera body, or something else.
Only wild guesses above... And yes, I have encountered weird inidicator behavior with AA batteries, too. But not with CR-V3.
I bet your mobile phone battery indicator plays tricks, too.
Not sure if you try fresh Alkaline battery. Try it if you havn't already.
Fully charged batteries, how do you know it fully charged? The "charger said so"?
Your batteries or charger might give you a fault peak reading. Try fresh battery or AC adepter and go from there.