The 'H' would likely indicate you are receiving an HSDPA-speed connection. HSDPA is superior to the 3G connection... (think of it like a 3.5G) I never knew the iPhone had this capbility, or rather even if you were connected to an HSDPA connection, the iPhone would still indicate '3G'. 3G signals can typically achieve download speeds of 380kbps, whereas HSDPA can achieve speeds similar to a wireless LAN.
This is not correct. All iPhone 3G and 3GS use UMTS/HSDPA as the 3G standard. Currently, *HSDPA 3.6* is used by AT&T with a theoretical maximum download speed of 3.6 mbit/s. (The max I've tested on my phone is 2.1 mbit/s)
AT&T is currently testing *HSDPA 7.2* with a theoretical speed of 7.2 mbit/s. The 3GS can receive this, but the actual speed is unclear. I don't know if this gives the "H" icon.
Even HSDPA 7.2 doesn't give anywhere near the theoretical speed of wireless WAN or WiFi. For that, you'll have to wait for 4G.