Yes Howard, a good topic. I think at this point what we need is a poorly thought out sweeping generalisation.........and I'm your man!
Your mention of place names, romantic in association or not, leads me to propose that Britain is not geographically or linguistically equipped to hold Rock'nRoll / Rock music, and that is why it invented pop /art rock.
Being the King of Sweeping Statements I'd hereby like to knight you Sir Will Vine! The best sweeping statements are 70% on the nail but I think your up there in the 80's with that one. If someone hasn't already written a book on this subject, they should.
You are absolutely right. Brits have no right to try to raaack, and only very few can pull off pure, un-ironic, unadulterated rock - Dr Feelgood spring to mind, and, as you say, Keith pulls Mick through. We really had to find another angle on it. Perhaps art rock is our cricket to the Americans' baseball?
But, yes, Tom - world music is a great way to be able to listen to music without having to get obsessed with the details - in effect we are back where we began in our teens - with the enjoyment of the pure, visceral sound.