Our experience of obtaining cartes de séjour was fine and the staff at the Préfecture were very helpful and polite. It was useful that I had gone with our Taiwanese neighbours to help them with their visas/titres de séjour and asked for the information sheet for our cartes de séjour: all the relevant sections were then highlighted so we knew exactly what was required.
Having lived here permanently for 25 years and 'gone through the system' workwise/pensionwise , the paperwork didn't seem unduly onerous. Just produce what is asked for and don't think that you are exempt from anything. If you don't speak, read or write French it is probably necessary to take someone who does.
When we went back to the Préfecture with our dossiers, we had the same form to fill in as our Taiwanese neighbours - we're all foreigners after all! - so we were prepared. Interesting - the issue date of our first cartes de séjour was asked for: having still got them we knew the month and year but not the day - there it was, on their computer!
Our Préfecture is at Perigueux being in Dordogne 24. We haven't come across anyone else in this department who has applied but have spoken to a few people in Gironde 33 who were having problems but maybe by now things have changed. Just to be on the safe side, we have applied for French nationality.
Maybe after 30 years of holiday/permanent residence, we should have done it before but, to be honest, there seemed to be no great need. After all, we were all EUROPEANS!!So sad. I still wake up in the mornings and can't believe what happened in June 2016.
At least someone's got our best interests (and the UK's) at heart. Keep up the good work. MM.