That's a tough one. Pines can be used in probably the most varied ways to produce trees of vastly different character. But because of where I live, they are also very, very common. (They are literally everywhere!)
I would go with Maples. Easy to grow, grow fast, beautiful trees.
My favorite species is Mt Hemlock...the foliage is second to none and one of the most amazing trees I have seen.
But for bonsai, I would have to say that the Mt Hemlock is a close second to the Ponderosa Pine. I would choose collected ponderosa pine because of the contorted nature, excellent deadwood, great bark and the power these trees contain. They are also easy to bend or move very thick branches and are extremly tough species. About the only way to kill one is to burn it!!!!
Something appropriate to your climate (humidity, yearly temperatures). In your case something that would resist dryness and the type of summer/winter you have. In my case, here in Florida a tropical tree, most likely Black Olive.
(1) Japanese maple. So many varieties to chose from, relatively forgiving, and stunningly beautiful throughout each season.
(2) Shimpaku juniper. Easy. Fun. Quick results.
(3) Japanese Black Pine. Difficult. Slow. East to mess up - forever
Since you said species and not a particular type, I guess I'd have to go with a juniperus chinensis. Second would be japanese black pine because there are a lot of varieties there to work with as well.