John K Jordan
Have you tried the carbide tools from Mike Hunter? Unlike the EasyWood type, these are extremely sharp and the cutting edge lasts a long time even on the hardest wood. They can be used just as you use a gouge with vary clean cuts or can be used as a scraper.
My favorite for all-around use is the small Hunter Hercules.
The bit is rotated regularly to spread out the wear. When the bit eventually gets dull it is quickly replaced. I use these and other Hunter tools on most bowls, platters, vases, boxes, etc.
I have never found a wood or a piece of acrylic hard enough that turning it wasn't a pleasure. Iron wood, lignium vitae, lyptus (almost like turning concrete), hickory, many dense exotics, brass and aluminum, even steel on occasion. Never tried monkey puzzle.
Admittedly, people used to turning green wood are sometimes surprised by how hard some dry species are. They do sometimes take different techniques, at times perhaps a bit more finesse and tool control. And razor sharp tools, of course.
I personally almost always turn dry wood. I rarely turn green wood - it's easy and good fun but besides a few other downsides, I found it not much challenge)