ok, heres some news...
first part was my bad...my "filter" view wasn't really a filter on the list. The view was using the Group option and I limited the output to 1...silly me...what I learned, and I guess what everyone already knows is that this type of 'filter' in
the view is not a filter as far as Sharepoint lists are concerned. If this was SQL it would qualify...but i guess it really returns all rows and simply limits the output on the screen.
To correct that I changed some fields so I could actually filter by a column instead of limiting the group by output and the web part works. If you are in this camp, then check your group vs filter options on the view.
However, there still is some type of gotcha with this component that I have yet to solve (maybe this is your issue):
Create a web part page, add a chart part that links to the view and filter...looks good.
Then I added a list web part to the actual list (the same list that feeds the chart)...and changed the default view to my filter view. Looks good.
Referesh the homepage...guess what?
List view web part is still filtered, but the chart part is not. Somehow it doesn't like that.
To solve, I removed the list web part from the page.
So...if you had the list web part on the home page...you got snagged by this gotcha. Remove the list part (if that is allowed) and you'll see your filtered chart.
Not a bad price to pay..in all this chart web part is sweet compared to hacking pages in SPD.