Wouldn't have the foggiest
As a noob to c++ I wouldn't have the foggiest notion of how to implement the "preferred" approach of using std::vector. Since I went to the bother of reducing my code to the smallest possible block that demonstrated the issue, if you could modify that block to show an example of how the std::vector approach would work that would be most appreciated.
What I'm passed may control
I suppose the fact that I'm stuck with the pointer as an input means that I should go with the original suggestion (strcmp()) and only if I've got some other reason to do string manipulation, which would cause me to assign both of the values to c-style strings should I go with std::string.