It must be a uniquely American thing to equate massive levels of attention with good service. As a Brit now living in the US, all the unwanted interruptions you get when you're just trying to enjoy a slow, peaceful restaurant meal really took some getting used to.
I'm American, and have only lived in America, and I really hate this practice too. Drives me nuts.
A couple years ago, I lived in northern New Jersey where there's a bunch of Italian restaurants. At one, that looked family-owned, it was totally overstaffed, with some Italian-looking waiters, but a Mexican guy who I'm not sure what his position was other than "waterboy". He came around every few minutes to refill our water glasses, even though we had barely drank any water. It was the most annoying over-service ever. One of my guests (an older guy who speaks some Italian) tried thanking him with "grazi", and the guy corrected him with "gracias". My guest then asked him if this was an Italian restaurant or a Spanish one. I didn't go back to this place.
Anyway, you're completely correct about them seemingly deliberately waiting until your mouth is full of food to come over and ask "How's that tasting for ya?" and also clearing the plates before you've even finished. This stuff is epidemic.
Honestly, eating out in America is really not a fun experience. Just like going to a movie theater. Better just to buy your own food at a supermarket and cook it yourself, and watch a movie at home. America's a good country if you want to make good money and stay at home all the time to enjoy it with a big house, and come and go in a nice car (and you're healthy...). If you like going out a lot to restaurants, cafes, movies, etc., it kinda sucks.