Well, I dropped one of my orchids and broke the clay pot it was in this morning. No damage to the orchid, thankfully!
However, on picking up the pieces, I discovered that the pot was actually made of some sort of grey clay, and looks like it has been dipped in terracotta color to make it look like a real terracotta pot. Now, these are cheap pots I got at Lowe's. The 3in. ones are $1.47 and the larger ones - 5in. or so - are $2.59 if memory serves. The clay does absorb water, so I'm assuming they "breathe" like the real terracotta ones do.
I'm not overly concerned, except that they might be using some sort of oil-based stain for the coloring, which might not be great for the orchids long-term. That being said, they also have clay pots at Lowe's that are the grey color, so maybe they are not stained. I'm thinking I'll go get one and satisfy my curiosity.
Here's one of the pot shards, and below that a piece of a real terracotta pot. Opinions or ideas, anyone?