If I set my view options to 'show item info' and then select all windows I would expect this to affect all windows that i open in the future. This however is not the case. Have I made an error or am i expecting the wrong thing?
No, that is correct, sometimes my Mac does that 2 me.. Its all software based I think. Perhaps you have a currupt file. Delete your finder prefs may work. Or what i did is I partioned my disk (which requires total erasing) and use DiskWarrior.