I took a class from Mary Sorensen. She recommends size 10 or 11 betweens instead of straw needles. She made us use them during the class, and by the time the class was over, I was converted. I think the point is, the needles don't bend as much when you use the tip to shape the appliqué fabric and adjust the seam allowance as you sew.
Where do you find the Scarlet Today needles, Brenda? I accidentally bend all my applique ones, too. I have been using John James Milliners, I bought them from Connecting Threads awhile ago.