Hardie Plank is the best of both worlds, look and character of real wood with the durablility and strength of traditional siding. It's virtually maintenance free. It's specially designed to retain paint much longer than wood without chipping or peeling.
Installation of siding is considered one of the best ways to add value to your home while also protecting it from the elements.
Wood siding requires painting and regular maintenance to prevent rotting and infestation.
Vinyl siding while it may require less work than wood siding it will result in sagging and disfigured pieces making the whole wall look warped.