Lengths of plastic rods of a stiffer sort to the men, possibly with a point at one end, would be a great idea!! I'd be all for it.
So long as the hands hold the lance/pike securely, with some glue helping rather than being the only thing keeping them in place, im happy with a ring hand or groove.
The rod I saw was like the broom bristles I use. Sharpening them or making spear points is easy. You squeeze the end flat with a pair of pliers then snip the sides off the flat bit with a pair of nail clippers. There's a link in the blog post above which shows you how it is done.
As for those who like not to do any assembly...I'd say putting spears in open hands doesn't take much longer than taking the flash off a cast one.
Mars put lengths of plastic in their boxes (the Austrian infantry and Polish infantry (Sobieski's) at least). They are fabulous. Longer than required, given in large numbers, can be 'sharpened' at the business end. Hands are proper hands not rings and the pikes fit well. They are just the business for mine.