I've had an 11-49 set with a wound 3rd string on my Epiphone for maybe a month or two now, and playing some Stevie Ray Vaughan stuff today I noticed that at a couple of frets where I tend to bend/vibrato a lot the string's winding had come off completely, with patches about half a millimetre to a millimetre long of bare string; fretting there unsurprisingly means major buzz. As far as I'm concerned, the wound 3rd was an awful idea for me personally, but I digress.

If you bend a lot, are wound 3rd strings very prone to strip like this? Worth mentioning that my Epi has pretty bad fret wear; the frets around the 12th have flat surfaces on top up to about 1.5mm wide - is that the more likely cause of the breakage?
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Wound 3rd as in the "G" string? I don't think they're inherently fragile. It could just be that particular set. Every once in a while, you may get a set that doesn't last for crap.
On the other hand, the flat topped frets could be doing it if the corner of the flat part is cutting into the string, I suppose?
Try another set and maybe see if you can dress the frets, maybe round them off again? If there's enough left.
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I used to wear them out pretty fast in acoustic silk and steel sets, but I have no real issues with them in standard 13-56 or 12-52. The thin windings might be a problem for me in 11-49, but I think it depends on your playing style.

I wouldn't have thought that the worn frets would be a problem, because at least they will be smooth and have a large bearing surface.
They're pretty durable as long as they aren't too tight. Nothing worse than a tight g-string.

In all seriousness, they're probably just as durable as any other string. I've seen mixed opinions about them. Some say they wear out faster, others say they last just as well. I only ever used them on my jazz guitars, and I never had an issue with them breaking. But I wasn't doing crazy bendy stuff either like SRV.

You'll probably have to go through a few sets to determine if you just wear them out fast, if you had a dud set, or if it is even worth the trouble of using a wound g. Trial and error is the way it goes sometimes in the guitar world. Every guitarist has a slightly different touch/technique that causes instruments, strings, and picks to wear differently.
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