A few weeks ago there was an article in the San Diego Reader about "How to Dine." Many Chowhounds here found the article insufferable, because it focused more on dining as a power trip than on the enjoyment of good food.
For a more thoughtful, insightful look at eating out, check out the New York Times article dated January 13, written by Amanda Hesser (see link below). Hesser, a former chef, describes the evolution of her friend into a food lover She is a professional food writer who loves to dine out; he is an average person who loves to eat, but feels uncomfortable in fancy French restaurants, preferring simpler, homier fare and less pretentious service. Hesser discusses service, food presentation, dining as theatre and social occasion, and whether a dining experience requires flawless food in order to be enjoyable.