Michigan, sometimes you can get your "string" to uncoil if you soak it in hot water for a while. It will also relax a bit the more you work with it. By the time you finish your project, it should be about right.
I don't have a set preference on circular needles - I am most interested in the tips. I do hate ones which have squeaky connections between the string and the tips - Crystal Palace has beautiful tips, but squeaky connections. The best metal circulars, IMO, are Addi Turbos. They are slippery and sturdy.