I occasionally use wide angle lenses on my SLRs and I am not troubled by distortion. Then there are exceptions to any rule. For example there is the 18mm f3.5 Zuiko for the Olympus OM cameras. The following is taken from The OM System Lens Handbook from 1983.

A super wide angle, "orthogonal projection" lens
This Zuiko 18mm lens features both a super wide angle of view and, on the other hand, it is completely corrected for distortion aberrations so that it can be used for normal pictures just like other ordinary lenses. This means that straight lines in the scene are shown as straight lines no matter where they are located. This feature makes this an "orthogonal projection" lens that gives a correct image of the subject according to the lens perspective.
For more on this lens you can look here:
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...htmls/18mm.htm