I love this litter too! I recently started using it for the semi-feral momma kitty that I'm "fostering"
. I started her on Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract (clay) to help get her going on the whole litter-box concept, and it worked great for that, but I really hate clay litters. I don't know how people put up with the dust and the smell and the cement caked to the bottom of the box and scoop
! So I slowly transitioned her to the pine and it's awesome, for all the reasons you mentioned.
My resident old timer kitty uses the Feline Fresh pine pellets mixed with Yesterday's News (he doesn't like clumping for some reason). That combo has worked great for us for years. Especially now that I've had to move his box into the kitchen ever since Cinnamon Girl took over the room it was in before. I had people over the other day and they actually asked me what the box was for, they didn't realize it was a litter box.