Speaking only from my personal experience, for the first question I would say that there are still likely to be rapid increases in the numbers of teachers required for China in particular. It's a huge growth area and even if the economic wobbles slow it down a little, China just can't get enough teachers fast enough.
For other countries, yes, obviously, most places prefer teachers with experience (though in Italy, you may find some schools further south willing to consider you without it.) You're British, so working in Europe presents no visa problems and most European language schools prefer British English language teachers.
The working conditions question is a big one. It depends what your expectations are. I know when you're first getting a teaching job, you feel you should take the first thing that comes along, but it's really worth asking the school basic questions about how many days in a week they're going to timetable you and whether the hours are likely to be clustered together or you'll have to work on and off all day from 8 in the morning till ten at night. (This is a favourite scheduling option for various language schools in Spain and Northern Italy.) Money in European private language schools is often as low as schools think they can get away with - it's harder in big cities where lots of teachers want to live (Rome, Barcelona, Milan etc). You often get a better standard of living if you go to a smaller, non-touristy destination (plus you have a more interesting time.)
If you're considering China, you often get treated with rather more respect - and the pay is usually fine for just spending money while you are there. (but don't think you'll save much.) I didn't enjoy living there much, but plenty of people do. It's mostly kids at the moment, in Chinese language schools.
For long term prospects, basically if you are serious about career prospects, pension schemes, sick-pay or moving up the career ladder then maybe it's time for a rethink. It's an interesting job and gives you the chance to meet lots of different kinds of people, but there is no real structure or progression. Career EFL/ ELT people usually go into management, publishing, training or really anything other than actually classroom jobs.
Hope you have fun with it, if it's what you decide to do and hope some of this has been useful. (I've been in ELT for hundreds of years now, so it can't be that bad!)
- For Teachers