Most of the Brits I've met so far in Barcelona have lived here for a very long time, speak fluent Spanish and have great jobs (most of them have started their own business).
I have met a few that are exactly as you have described above though.
They refuse to learn Spanish, get mad at the locals for not acting like Brits and have basically moved here for the weather (a valid reason though).
One thing I know is true is that "we, Canadians, Americans, Australians, New Zealanders etc" definitely have to have more on the ball to get into this country.
From the first time we contacted our lawyers in Marbella it took 1.5 years to get approved, get into the country and get our residency cards.
Having lots of money was the main ingredient, a good education doesn't hurt, a clean criminal record, a clean health record, etc.
We also moved our two dogs from NZ to Spain just make everything a little more complicated and expensive.
NZ wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I had too much work, 12 to 19 hours a day, 7 days a week, the weather was harsh with wind, rain and cold and a "summer" that seems to go by in a blink of an eye.
I made many good friends there, loved the health care system, loved the South Island, but I couldn't help but feel a general anti-Americanism in NZ which made it difficult to call the place home.
Spain, on the other hand, seems to have accepted us with open arms and I *love* the weather here, and the food.