When I built my house 18 years ago I had to have the traditional wood
(cedar) siding. After a couple of years, the color began to fade.
After about 5 years in the weather (northern Illinois), some pieces
developed cracks and boards shrunk creating gaps at joints.
After an extensive paint and caulk job it looked like new again.
I'm facing the same situation again, only this time I'm tearing off
the wood siding and installing vinyl. I've nearly finished putting up
vinyl soffit and aluminum fascia on my house, this summer it will be
As far as replacing siding, if you install a name brand (certainteed,
wolverine, alcoa, reynolds to name a few) it should be available if
the need arises.
Like they say "vinyl is final".