My '04 4Runner has a Panasonic (original) battery, and my '01 Jetta has an original as well (it's buried under covers, and hard to get at). They're both driven every weekday, and sometimes on weekends. We try to actually spend time together on the weekends. She (Jetta) drives 14 mi round trip to work, I do 74. I'd have her use the truck (mileage) but she's not comfortable in it.
We've lived in the South (S. FL), then in far North (N. ND), now in South Texas. We've both worked in different directions/distances at all times and climates haven't seemed to play much of a part in anything, really, except for the first 30 seconds or so after start-up, and the first couple minutes of driving.
Just info. Not sure if it's helpful or not, but I would propose that the type of battery doesn't make much difference (you do need to match the cars required CCA, Ah, etc). The care given it, however, does, and there are lots of suggestions above.