Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak
While the southern yellow pine available today is not the same as the "heart pine" or "pitch pine" they used in the old days, it isn't bad stuff. The lousiest grades of it are the ones that get pressure treated. You can get untreated, clear, straight-grained stuff with fairly fine growth rings at pretty reasonable prices. I've found that it is strong and holds fasteners well. So far (knock on wood?) its durability has been OK, too.
If I were going to use it as replacement for white oak I'd probably increase dimensions a little to compensate for its somewhat lower strength.
It doesn't bend well.
I will beg you for advice, your reply will be concise, and I will listen very nicely and then go out and do exactly what I want! (Apologies to Lerner and Lowe.)