Thanks for the response! As a matter of fact, I've been doing a bit of research and found the James Hardie Corp. on the 'net. I've managed to gather some samples from a local supplier, and I've definitely decided that this is the route to take. With a high-quality paint, I'm figuring 10-15 years before an maintenance.
Vinyl siding is definitely a last resort, but I think that Hardi-Plank is just the ticket.