and a Soldier (who can spare the feats for a large non-class Dodge bonus) has a final Parry DV that's five points higher than his Dodge DV.
Not trying to be insulting here but I think that you have rather missed the point. The purpose of having a shield only provide its bonus to parry and not meele dodge in not to ensure that a shield-parry Soldier has a higher DV than a shield-dodge Soldier. It is to ensure that he has a higher DV than a shield-dodge Barbarian.
Thought experiment. A shield-parry Soldier with the right selection of feats can get a DV about 8 points higher than a dodge Barbarian. But he has spent more resources than the Barb to get that, for the purpose of this example I want both guys to expend an equal
ammount of resources so that means that the Soldier herre wont' take those feats, so his only advantage is the shield putting him up by 4 points, thats no small advantage!
Now imagine that you allow shields to give their bonus to meele dodge. Now the Soldier and the Barbarian have an equal DV for an equal expenditure of resources. But wait! The Barbarian's dodge defense works equally well against all attacks meaning he gets the full benefit of his resources all the time. The Soldier's parry defense doesn't work against ranged or touch attacks meaning he gets the benefit of his resources only some
of the time.
Thats balance. A character has a decision to make, do I go vor a lower overall DV that will be there for me all the time or do I play for broke and risk getting screwed? In my not so humble opinion having shields provide a parry bonus is one of the central, definning mechanics of the game and I strongly
advise against changing it.
Of course that's me. In your game you have the power do do whatever you want. Good luck.