My hair is currently around hip lenght (I just trimmed a little so might be half an inch away). It took me a year to grow from waist to hip, and will take about 6 months to reach tailbone. My hair generally grows slowly, a bit slower than average, but growth always speeds up at summer.
I usually wear my hair bunned or braided. I, too, have had difficulties with my good ol' updos. They just don't work anymore. Recently I have worn my hair on a braided bun held with one hair stick. I read Harpgal's instructions from here http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showpost.php?p=111545&postcount=19 and noticed it works really well.