My first post, but I have made furniture and built houses for a living since 1972. I used dowels for fastening my furniture until I discovered screws. I countersunk the screws 1/4" and used dowels to fill in the countersink. Of course there were only straight head screws back then, so it was still not a cakewalk. I finally switched to screws made by Phillips and also use their screw tips exclusively. Since most stores only sell imported screws now, and hardened steel tips, I order from Phillips directly. Their screw tips are the best I have ever used - I won't even buy a B&D or any black metal tip.
As far as screwing into any hardwood, you have to practice drilling the right sized pilot hole, and the right depth for that particular piece of wood and screw length. It's easier to brak off a screw in a practice piece than the real thing. From experience of trying to deal with a snapped off screw, I also am very careful when I make the final push. Often I will remove the screw if I feel it's getting hard to drive. I will then take the time to redrill the pilot hole to get rid of accumulated stuff, and then screw the screw in again. I am a fan of soap or im my case an old piece of canning wax from my mom that I've been using for 40+ years.
I used screws on this chair when I designed it in 1972, and I still do, as it can be broken down and shipped. The wood in this chair is bloodwood
Maybe the mockingbird taught all the other birds to sing