A few answers:
Pertex Equilibrium is a 2-way stretch woven. The fabric is more like a very, very lightweight "softshell" as marketed by Patagonia, REI, et al. I believe it is a bi-component fabric with a harder wearing exterior thread and a softer wicking interior thread. My understanding is that Pertex Quantum is more similar to the usual hard nylon wovens
I got a good deal on the Crest as it was on clearance at REI during one of their promotions. Despite having a few windshells already this one piqued my interest. I carry a windshell every day and use them often for cycling, hiking, climbing, etc, so it behooves me to have an extra to fall back on...
Regarding durability. I did discover one pull on the fabric after a short day of bushwhacking. Besides that one day it's been mostly too hot out to wear while moving, so I haven't been able to test its durability/wicking more extensively. So far it seems to wick well and feel better when damp than the Houdini. I am really looking forward to putting it through its paces later this year particularly the winter.
My Westcomb hoody indeed has velcro straps. It is this year's model (Spring 2013) if that helps. Like everything else Westcomb makes, this one is made in Canada.