I'm in New Zealand and we have lots of radiata. Yes their needles are long and twisty when young but improve with age. They grow quite fast and have nice mature bark.
I'm starting some contorta from seed, their needles are not twisty and i have seen some quite short needles on full size trees. Pinus contorta is a weed here
Fast growing in our conditions, they produce cones on trees only 3-4 years old.