I had a discussion over the weekend with someone who said, "I don't just eat -- I like to DINE." I countered that the only difference between the two terms was that 'dining' is much stuffier, more pretentious, etc., to which she said, "Oh no, eating is just, y'know, eating. But dining is about the whole experience! It's a much more sophisticated thing." Which I thought proved my whole point about pretentiosness, but I let it slide and just changed the subject. (I later realized that I should have said, "If dining is so sophisticated, how come the most boring food is usually found at places called diners?")
Anyone else have any thoughts on the relative merits of these two terms?