I understand your sentiments.
Larger? An imperial pint is larger than the typical serving where bar staff are encouraged to shortchange punters of the full 568ml in order to sell "72 pints", from a barrel or keg. Supposedly having a head on a pint excuses them from serving a full pint.
Lager is bottom fermented, normally at lower temperatures than Ale which is top fermented.
Is there good lager? Yes there is, though it's bloody rare as rocking horse droppings. Real lager can be really good. I brewed some a while back from a kit (now discontinued unfortunately) and a bag of spraymalt. It was fantastic! Better than any commercial lager I've ever tasted, including some really good real lagers.
Chemical lager on the other hand, which makes up something astronomical like 99% of all lager consumed, is as you say "fizzy, expensive piss".
"Southerners" is maybe a generalisation as lager brewing took off in Scotland after success at exporting IPA a very long time ago. Microbreweries have had an enormous impact in the South.
Real Ale is the only growth area in brewing at the present time.
(Yes, I have some Macc Lads CD's - "You are what you drink and I'm a bitter man")