Baz, way too high for what? IMHO - 6th gear is perfect for running at 80mph.(indicated) If you want a little quicker acceleration drop the front sproket one tooth, cheap and easy with great results.*BUT* the best thing to do if you want to just keep the revs up on the highway, leave it in 5th..
+1 on what st2sam says about cruising. That 6th gear fits the bike very well in that indicated 80-85mph range.
I've been very happy with my ST3 so far. I bought it last year. The only problems I've had were a dash unit that wasn't working properly, a oil pressure sending unit that went bad this year, and most recently, a oil pump that wasn't working up to specs. My experiences with the dealer, Hall's Ducati in Springfield, IL, have been very good. They've worked hard at fixing the problems that have cropped up and they've been quick about getting things fixed. In fact they were upset that it took an extra couple of days to fix the oil pump problem.
When I bought the bike last year, I spent some time talking with the tech about various maintenance items. The dealer was fine with me handling the 600 mile stuff, which is mainly the oil change and checking that nothing is obviously loose. They do seem to be operating on a different schedule than Ducati. They recommended a valve check at 3,000 which I had done. After that, they really didn't feel it necessary for me to bring it in until about 12,000 miles which is when they recommend the valves be done again and also to check and probably replace the timing belts. After that, they feel that every 10,000 miles is a good rule of thumb. For many of us, that works out to about once a year. I have to give these folks good marks. They take the issue of customer service pretty seriously.