> If the DWR has to work for the membrane to work, why even have a membrane?
Well, if you follow that train of thought you end up with a soft-shell jacket. Yes, these work great under the right conditions.
If you are standing around directing traffic, a long (bright orange) PVC coat is ideal. You might sweat a little bit inside it, but it WILL keep the rain out forever.
If you are exercising hard under moderate rain/mist/snow but very cool conditions, a soft-shell jacket (EPIC, DWR, pile, whatever) will work wonderfully. The heat gradient will drive your sweat out through the jacket fabric, while you are working.
If you working under torrential rain in mild conditions ... try an umbrella, a big hat, or just get wet. It's all the same in the end. (Yes, we often just get wet.)
If you are trying to work hard under cold torrential rain ... you have a problem. with no solution. About all you can do then is to wear a poncho OVER your pack and hat to deflect the rain. You will get sweat condensing inside, but you are guarranted to get wet anyhow, to misquote one of our betes-noir. At least the poncho will largely prevent the cold rain from washing away your body heat. (Tested down to freezing with success.)
Any claims by manufacturers to have the perfect solution for all conditions are just lies. You have to adapt to the conditions.