All the tutorials are saying the light meter (exposure meter) in live view mode should be there, except that it's not showing there in my brand new camera, lol. Is there a setting I might have set that could be preventing me from seeing it in live view mode?
The quickest way to find out if it is a setting problem or a flaw in the camera would be to reset all options:
Shooting Menu Options | Reset Shooting Menu | Setup Menu Options | Reset all options (at the end of the menu list). That keeps your language, date, and time zone settings but puts everything else back to the factory default. You'll know then if it's something you changed or not.