Just a quick follow-up as I have now had my meeting to apply for the união estável. Everything was dealt with on the day and I now have that stamp in my passport, and just await the issue of the card
To start the meeting the PF guy asked several unnecessary questions of myself and my wife. Where did we meet, had she been to England, and had she met my family ? After that, he stuck with what was on the list. The Cartorio document for the uniao estavel was quite sufficient, so I did not need any other proofs of our union existing for more than one year, as that was certified in the document, so I could in fact have done the process over a year ago, although I would then have come under the old procedures, and would still be waiting a home visit, etc.
One interesting thing Was that after the guy had run through his list of the required documents I told him that there was one more thing on the list on the PF's website which he had not asked for. This was the proof of my wife's financial means to support me if necessary. I had brought this along and he took it, but did not think it was necessary, which kind of confirms James' view that this is still on the list because they have forgotten to change the site. Anyway, it is apparently not on their own internal list.
The only other potential hitch was that as soon as he saw my police certificate, which was
100 days old since it's issue, he said that it had to be within 90 days old. This pissed me off rather as I had gone there 2 weeks before and confirmed with 3 people senior to him that the stamp of the Consulate in January effectively stopped the time period. Anyway, he accepted it and didn't expect it to be a problem.
So, once again, thank you James, and to everyone else who passed on their knowledge and experience.