my personal favorite is cedar for exterior products. but you are right it can get expensive.
Check your phone book, find out if there are any places that build with cedar only. around my parts there is a place called cedar rustic. t hey buy in bulk and sell to the public much less than HD or anywhere else cedar is sold.
the other thing i do is look for people having cedar fences replaced. the reason they usually do this is because the posts have rotted out in the ground after 20 years or so so they replace the whole fence. i have loaded up many a cedar fence in my pick up stacked by the garbage, pulled all the nails and resurfaced it with the planer. cedar generally does not rot(unless in the ground) it merely greys and becomes brittle. with a little TLC and patience, you can get some pretty good pieces of cedar using this method.
the other option for outdoor furnature asidefrom cedar or the hard/exotic woods like teak and such is pretty much anything. seal the hell out of it with thompsons water seal. pine, oak, whatever.
but recycled cedar is definately worth the time. you wont save every board but you will ger 80-90% useable
\"A SHIP OF WAR IS THE BEST AMBASSADOR\"<br /><br />OLIVER CROMWELL