Xavi is meh. I think the class was decent, but the topics were definitely very cliche and very highschool in the sense that the homework and essays seemed like busy work. Honestly, I can't say I learned much of anything, and I don't think the students around me would disagree. Moreover, most of the kids in the class were either hispanic or fluent, so it was a bit tough to compete with them. Xavi himself is interesting enough and is always willing to offer help, but I don't think he is the best the department has to offer.
I have had Ben for two semesters now and I cannot recommend him enough. He is a really great professor, who seems to genuinely enjoy teaching. He brings a lot of enthusiasm and joking to what could otherwise be a boring subject. Moreover, he is a pretty relaxed grader and he is very sympathetic to the fact that students have a lot of other classes on their plate. He is also very patient with students still learning Spanish, and makes sure to talk slowly and clearly. As long as you do the reading (but you can skip a few), you will do fine. I found both his classes to be just enough work to teach me a lot about a new subject - but still so enjoyable as to be my favorite classes of the semester.
Pepe, contrary to popular beliefe, was the absolute man. Sure he is sort of a disgruntled old man but after you get over the initial "what is going on" and "what is this guy talking about" phases, you will love him. I have never learned more in one semester about grammar, writing style, critical reading, and any other litarary analysis skill, most notably actually reading litarary criticism from Butler than from Pepe. So, just sort of ignore his grumpiness right off the bat and you will learn to love his quirks, including fabulous stories of his life, his absurd sense of humor, and of course, his rediculous comments about Barnard. I highly reccomend this man.