Cedar shakes are both renewable and real. The dishonesty of claims about materials runs rampant through the residential building industry. There's no comparison between a real cedar shingle and its fake counterparts.
There are two basic kinds of cedar shingles: machined and split. Machined shingles give a more refined look, split a more rustic look. Your taste governs, but your choice should match the rest of the architecture.
Installation is critical to the long-term maintenance of your investment. Make sure there's air space behind the shingles. As with all materials these days, there's an association that is a good source for detailed information. I would direct you to the webpage of the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau for more information.
No one ever regretted using real materials installed by a skilled and experienced tradesperson.