I think you get good and bad staff, not only within each retail chain but each individual shop. Those who are knowledgeable and keen to help, and those who think they're too talented and special to be working in a shop - if only the world would recognise their genius. There are also those in specialist shops who look down on those with limited budgets or who don't know much about the subject. I find this not just in camera shops but bike shops, hifi shops and any shops based on hobbies where you get a lot of geeks and know-alls. On the whole I always found the staff in my local Jessops okay.
Hopefully the recent talk about there being Jessops concessions within the rescued HMV stores will come to fruition so there will still be somewhere specialist for the enthusiast to be able to handle the latest gear.