I have used carbon tent poles since the mid 90's without any serious problem. Initially, I made them out of carbon arrow shafts ordered from Cabella's, and also ordered better and very light weight shafts from Barry Venderhorst's ad in Backpacker magazine (no longer in business, as far as I know). One mistake I made initially was going too light with the arrow shafts, but I recall only one break, which was clean and was quickly replaced by the extra shaft I carried. I never had a break with Barry's shafts, still use them on my Wilderness Equipment bug dome with fly, and regret that he wound up his business. More recently, I have experimented with pultruded and wrapped tubes sold by several kite makers' materials sites. I did order a set of shafts from Fibraplex, but found them, as well as the ferrules (connecting inserts), more brittle than other shafts I had with minimal testing, so have not used them. There are also the new FX pole shafts available from Easton, but while bomb proof, they are on the heavy side, more in the weight class as DAC's alloy, and require an expensive minimum order for more than one needs for just one tent. I am currently looking at Carbon Express Maxima woven and Easton Axis Nano arrow shafts for my next project.
I have thought about testing a number of these shafts with a torque wrench until they break, and reporting the results on this site. Please advise with a post if there is any interest.
While the above might otherwise belong in the DIY column, wanted you to know why I feel that carbon does have potential to improve substantially over alloy shafts. It is a matter of quality of manufacture, and using the ever improving technologies.
Hope you find this information helpful. Thank you.
Sam Farrington, Chocorua NH