Playing around with Houdini VEX Wrangler, a slightly improved version of the path deform of 3ds max made mostly with VEX and a couple of SOPs to calculate the tangents and length of the curve.
EDIT (12/20/2017) :
The latest version can transform now normals properly and any kind of attribute included packed geometry. By using packed geometry, you can achieve interesting results, like having objects that follow the curve but don't get deformed.
The samples parameters is now exposed in the main UI, it's used to control the accuracy of the deformation.
You can also use the upvector by attribute, in that case the up vector will be taken from the points of the curve so now the user has more control over the orientation of the deformation.
The option to copy the geometry in several curves has been removed for the sake of simplicity and performance, if the user wants to achieve that result it can do it with a copy-stamp or a for each loop, in that case the user has a lot more control over the desired result.
This time several curves can be used, the geometry will be copied and deformed for each curve, several new parameters to control variation.
With this new version there is no twist-flipping issues, the user can specify the initial up vector and the axis to use to deform the geometry. This version is actually a little simpler than the previous one and has better explanation using sticky notes and vex comments. This one uses a 2-step process, first to calculate a transform attribute along the curve, and second the transform is used to deform the point of the geometry along the curve.
Note: transform SOP has to be used to align mesh in the X axis if necessary with this old version.