In my CIS 101 course this week we discussed Internet connection speeds.
Of course, in our area, many of the home Internet options are better than other areas even within the United States - the more densely populated an area, the more options we'll have.
Anyway, sometimes you are sold one amount but you don't really get the amount you should - there are many things that can can affect that (including, for example, if you are sharing files in the background, if you have an open wireless connection that other people might be using, etc.).
If you're curious about your speed, you can run a free test online to check what your speed is, and if it doesn't match what you are paying for, at least you know there is something up.
Keep in mind, most home services give you a higher download speed (how quickly stuff gets from the Internet to you) than upload speed (how quickly you send stuff to the Internet).
I have Comcast cable at home, and here are my results. Needless to say, I am relatively happy.
Anyway, there are many of these online, but you can find a good one at DSLReports.com.
Internet Connection Speed test @ DSLReports