As for Tyvek vs. building felt/paper I think it once again depends on the application. These are not products intended for airsealing and insulation. They are Weather Resistive Barriers WRBs meant to keep bulk water out of the house. I think we should move any further discussion about them to the new thread on Vapor Permeability in Temperate climates (which includes most of US). I must point out however, that Tyvek is MUCH more vapor permeable than most building felts. Some building scientists think that Tyvek is too permeable for most applications. I think both forms of WRBs can be useful but dont recommend tyvek behind real wood as the tannins have been shown to break it down (with no rainscreen). The jury is still out on fiber cement. I should also point out that almost all building scientists recommend rainscreens behind siding and masonry, for most climates, and most commercial products made for that purpose are made of plastic. That being said, I think the best rainscreens use furring strips (some are plastic) for siding applications. Still, depending on the application, a plastic WRB or rainscreen can add years or decades of life to most cladding systems and paint jobs.
Home wrap (tyvek) is I think as much a victim of aplication as most materials. CCHRC is doing some really good research and with their arctic wall it seems to be permiating the moisture quite well. I think part of the issue with tyvek is that you have the inconsistent poly later on the inside of most walls and so the tyvek can't compensate. The arctic wall has been used to good effect on passive homes in Europe as well so again I'm not against it's use so long as it's done properly.
Overlaying home wrap on top of exterior sheethimg is kinda counter intuitive, combined with the wood in surface contact I can't see how any moisture is able to permeate out of the wall cavity. Just a thought.
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