Kathy, you might like the Webs brand -- www.yarn.com ---of bamboo interchangeables. I have them, and I've read they have the feel of Crystal Palace bamboo needles, although I've not tried Crystal Palace myself so I can't confirm this. I wouldn't call the threaded join fragile on these, although I don't know if you can get that long a cable for them. On the other hand, you can certainly get away with a shorter cable than 40" for a felted basket project. In any case, the bamboo is very nice on these, and the case it comes in is quite cute, you can choose one of several patterns of fabric cases.
My only complaint about the Webs set is that the flat ends you can screw on the cable (too keep the knitting from falling off) don't stay on themselves, nevermind keep the knitting on! Don't know why they bothered putting them in the set, honestly, they're that lame. But they're minor, in terms of affected the knitting/quality of the set.