I use tinned haricot beans to get around the soaking time. It allows you to really change the flavor profile without the whatever sauce the baked beans come in. Even though they are both tomato based they do come out quite different.
Funny enough this is the one thing I user the British bacon for as it is thick enough to keep a good shape and texture - I would rather my precious Oscar Mayer go directly to me.
I saute some green peppers, red chilies, and onions in bacon fat, cut up some pineapple chunks and make a sauce from ketchup, brown sugar, and depending on what flavor I am going for, a bunch of black pepper, cayenne, maple syrup or chili powder or anything else you want. The pineapple idea actually came from a post somewhere on this site, and it always goes down well.
3-3 1/2 hours at 225-250