You probably refer to the Halocho of "חייב לכוון את פירוש המילות בתפילה", and you ask how many people really MEAN it.
For me, as a Baal Teshuva, this is probably the first thing that astonished me when I entered the Haredi world - is מצוות אנשים מלומדה - how most Haredis observe the Torah out of habit. But I have found the reason and the answer to your question:
Different people have different psychological qualities (sort of left-brainers and right-brainers) - and they treat beliefs differently: either as a feeling or as a knowledge:
For those who say the first (what you seemingly expect), I agree that not many people feel all that heavenly feelings like awaiting the Moshiah, enjoying Hashem closeness, loving and fearing Him etc.
For those (the majority) who are used to the intellectual approach - those things are pieces of knowledge they possess and never question or use.
For example, ask me if I believe in the resurrection of the dead - I would say sure, I have a check mark on that question, but do I feel that way? I don't think so. Therefore your "astonishment".
When you ask people about their beliefs, both types will say surely they believe that way, but they will mean different things as I explained.
NB: I personally think this phenomenon is the result of the "intellectualization" revolution of the Haredi world in the last 100 years and accepting the (I call it) Litvakes intellectual approach to the Torah study as the de-facto standard in all the communities incl Hassidim and Sefardim.
Practically all the Haredi Yeshivos (at least in Eretz Yisroel) after the WW2 turned to the Hespek approach over Musar. When a Bochur is applying for a Yeshivah or seeking a Shiduch he's asked how many Masechtos he learned. not how strong his Emunah is. That's the results.