Well good luck! I am a UK citizen living in France with third country husband who has a residence card for France. He was not allowed to board the plane to England on Christmas eve of 2010 because he didn't have a visa.
Residence card makes him exempt from visa and we had marriage certificate etc just in case.
As for being firm and knowing your rights - I was and I did. All the 'gumption' in the world will get you nowhere.
Argued with staff on the ground who put me on phone with head of Charles De Gaulle airport security who kept telling me that he knows his job, I quoted the Directive to everybody and they all told me my husband could not get on the plane without a visa.
They called someone in UK who said no but that he would call Birmingham airport to see if they would make an exception and they said no, not without a visa.
Needless to say Christmas was cancelled.
So in this case it was the French and the British who denied my husband's rights. So what do I do about it when no one is interested? The UKBA/Home Office won't even respond to me and we don't have money for a lawyer.
No one at the EU gives a toss whether the laws are implemented or not.