From my own personal experience of trials and errors, I would not recommend using a stain on pine. The wood is too porous and the too grain varied. The pine will never absorb a stain completely evenly, and the oils in pine contribute to this problem as well. Even with a wood conditioner, and oil based stain, the results I have had were all unsatisfactory. (If there are others here who have had success with staining pine, please clue us in on your tricks!)
Using a shellac lacquer in a natural Amber hue (cutting down the first layer with denatured alcohal by 25%) and using a gravity feed paint sprayer to create straight even strokes that overlap by about 1 cm, will give the pine an even and natural tone. The next layer you don't need to cut with the DA. But do not exceed more than 2-3 coats with Shellac. Sheac has the funny property of "eating itself" after multiple coats.
You can also experiment with sanding sealer when using a stain on any wood following stain application and light sanding, as this will essentially lock on the work you have done before adding another layer.
Good luck, hope this helps someone!