Hey Sandra, good question, and very timely!
So first of all, course setting in the US varies widely by club and area. Second of all, course setting at national events tends to be quite good, with a (usually) robust course consulting process in place. There is a surprisingly large (given the small size of the orienteering community) number of very good course setters and consultants in the US, who have international experience, so the quality at large events really does end up quite good.
At QOC local events, the level of course setting is mixed, including courses that are fairly boring, like the one you pointed out. However, the club just held a course setting course that eight people completed. The students on the course worked to design the courses for the Fountainhead local event this past Saturday. Check out my route gadget link for the blue course, for example: http://qocweb.org/routes/cgi-bin/reitti.pl?act=map...
. A big difference!
So at least QOC is working to address the uneven quality of courses, and I think it's helping. There was talk about instituting a course consulting process for local events, but I am not sure that has actually happened yet.