A pinch collar can be very effective, as you said - in conjunction for training and not a substitute.
Choke chains in general do NOT work,and only cause injury and tracheal damage. Pinch collars, in spite of their barbaric appearance, are much more humane.
I used a pinch collar on a pit bull I was fostering, and it helped for a short while, then she started pulling again.
On my present dog, I like my Martingale collar. It gives more control than a plain buckle collar, yet is not nearly so harsh as a choke chain. It's possible to abuse a dog with any kind of collar, so proper training is a must.
Many people seem to have good results using a harness on pit bulls. Teaching them not to pull can be very laborious and frustrating. After a year, my dog is pretty good about not pulling, and now a verbal reminder is usually enough to make her ease up.
However, if I take her somewhere new, her excitement gets the better of her, and of course having a rabbit run in front of her can result in my being wrapped around a tree.
Petunia'sDad has joined us on our pit bull board, so I'm sure he'll get a solution.