I'm not personally a fan of HWT simply because I don't like the look of their font. But that's a personal subjective opinion and no statement on the quality of the course.
As for your more general questions, I've always preferred the approach of one letter at a time, and not in alphabet order -- rather in 'shape' order. Like, i, then u, then w, because they're all the same shape. e and l go together. Then there's the "magic c", which later becomes a, d, g, and q. Etc etc. "Cursive First" does it in this method, as an example. So does Penny Gardner's Italics cursive book, which we used for DS when he was older and needed to VASTLY improve his handwriting.
I'm currently using A Beka's cursive K4 books with DD. I'm not using the rest of the A Beka curriculum so I don't have a lot of instruction to go with... so I'm doing the pages out of order in the way that I think makes most sense. We're also doing things like writing the letters large on chalkboard. She loves to trace trace trace, so I wrote a big letter "i" and she traced over it with a dozen different colours. Drawing it in the air too. It really helped with her smoothness and 'flow' of the letter.
I'm also always tempted by Barchowsky's Fluent Handwriting program, which has a regular course and a beginner's workbook for younger kids. It's also more of an Italics cursive rather than traditional. I like its emphasis on rhythm in writing. Just from their samples, I got the idea of reciting a simple little chant to help remember the form of each letter, and DD just LATCHED onto that. Actually, there's a similar idea used when teaching numbers in RightStart math, which we're also using, so she says "arouuuund and arouund" when writing 6, for instance...