"String handling in C" is a coding horror all on it's own - no further comment is necessary.
I'd say "string manipulation in C" is a coding horror, but consuming read-only strings in C is refreshingly lacking in unnecessary abstraction.
In my C++ engine, I don't use any string classes. Instead I choose to use const char* for any strings, simply because I don't do any string manipulation at all, so the simplest solution works fine
 to clarify, this also means not using any of the C standard library functions that work on strings [/edit]