For me it does depend on the client and their expectations.
The average client perhaps doesn’t know what is available and can only be influenced by the press or adverts of DIY stores and can therefore only see pine products.
If the media were to realise that there is a massive choice of hardwoods, Exterpark, Millboard, Tech, etc then perhaps they would then consider a designer to guide them to the right choice. This design led process would then lend itself to the icing on the cake as you mentioned.
In short I would recommend a decking designer to assist in most cases.