It seems that the phone always tried to normalize it's volume when I try to lower the volume to the media/speaker. If the tick marks are any lower than half way, the volume always boosts itself back to mid level, making listening to music and such annoying to the people in my surroundings. I can't seem to find any rogue program of such that could be doing this. Fully updated with latest android.
probably not...what it WILL do is show you if this is being caused by a 3rd party app you have installed or if its an issue with the phone itself.
Exactly. If it's a 3rd party app then you will need to contact the developer of the app to resolve the issue. If it's the phone itself then you have something to complain about to Sprint and/or HTC. Otherwise there's nothing they can do. But until we know what's causing it we can't come up with a solution to fix it.
Also, I'm not saying you have to leave it in Safe Mode indefinitely. Just boot to Safe Mode, have someone call your phone and see if it behaves the same or not. Perform the test a few times to verify that it does or does not behave the same. When your done, reboot the phone to exit Safe Mode and you will have all your apps available again.