I'm about to be published twice in an Australian knitting magazine (september's issue and one next year) and they've been very professional and the Editor has been friendly. I've also been published in a U.S. knitting book and had no problems.
But I'm sorry to hear you had a hard time with the magazine you tried submitting with. It doesn't sound very professional of them at all, stringing you on like that is generally not a very nice thing to do to a designer! If I were you, I'd give the magazine a miss and go onto the next one.
Maybe you can send off a quick email to ask if you still have the rights to your pattern, and if so take your business elsewhere. Better still, tell them you are no longer interested in them and DEMAND they will you your submission back because you cannot wait any longer. Don't be frightened of them, I think it's worth a try.
Boooooo to non-professional and time wasting magazines!