Well...the British use ceiling boxes just like we do for those regular up against the ceiling fixtures, i think.
In a good commercial system, maybe, but you won't find them in most domestic flush-fitting installations, I'm afraid.
Except that I believe the fixtures sometimes have an integrated connector block, right Paul?
Correct. The little 3-terminal "choc-block" connectors are found screwed to the upper side of some fittings, with the fixture wires already terminated in them. All you have to do is connect the cables from the ceiling.
The arrangement in the third diagram from the DIY book is pretty much what you'll see in British homes for similar types of light fixtures. It all seems very crude compared to American wiring.
The ceiling rose/flex/lampholder combination in Sven's post is the standard "el cheapo" light, as fitted on many contract houses where other lights have not been specified.
One problem that arises in modern houses is that the ceiling rose often acts as a loop-in junction box, i.e. there are three cables entering it: Power in, power fed through to the next light, and a switch cable.
When somebody decides to take down the original ceiling rose and install a fancier light fitting, they're faced with what to do about all the wires. The results are not always pretty, as I'm sure our other U.K. members will confirm.
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 09-17-2003).]