We use WSS 3.0 to host our portal. I created a new site on my Staging Server using the Blank Template and added an Announcements list, then put the Announcements Web Part on the home page. The Body column is not displayed. I know the "Summary View" for the Announcements Web Part is different from other Views, but the Body is supposed to appear under the Created By field. When I edit the current view for the Web Part, the standard columns are checked and greyed-out (Title, Body, Created By, Modified, Attachments). I created a new Team Site and have the same results. This is happening on both our Staging Server and on Production, but not on my stand-alone Development box.. This is just out-of-the-box functionality, I haven't customized anything yet. Has anyone run across this before?
Just finished a support call w/ Microsoft on this...after installing Security Update KB2687356 on a Server 2008 64-bit system, we experienced the same issue. Body not displaying in Summary View on the default homepage of a WSS 3.0 install.
Per Microsoft, this is a known issue with that update, and the fix is implemented in Service Pack 3 for Windows SharePoint Services. After installing SP3, Body was visible again...not sure if your issue was update related, but hope this helps.
OK, so if this is WSS 3.0 then it's the same as my MOSS (not SPS 2003) farm. Any chance that there's CSS in the master page for the staging and production boxes that might be suppressing the Body field that's not on your dev box? I'd test by making an alternate view of the Announcements list that includes the relevant fields and then select that view for the web part. It won't precisely replicate the OOTB summary view but at least it might help with debugging.
Another thing worth checking is whether the "Limit Len" property has been hacked in SharePoint Designer for that web part. Default is 250 and I frequently expand it, not sure what happens if you reduce it to a small number (or zero). Open the page in SPD and search for "Limit Len".
Hope that helps.