You are correct in your statements, that not very much thought is given anymore in they installation of high brick veneers.( Residential more than not. )
Since Residential Mason Contractors are more ample in the Arena of Business than so of Commercial, it is more common to see brick installations with disregard to absorption rates and cold weather.
Commercial Masons have to adhere strictly to Specifications that would outline what you have just said.
Residential brick as you talk about is more porous and have holes in them. They will absorb moisture right out of the mortar and cause weak link in the bond as you mentioned.
Commercial brick is more dense and solid, therefore, will be hard to install in colder climates.
Residential mortars are usually what they call Type N or M and commercial would be more of the Type S for structural mortar.
Over the years I have found that Engineers have finally come down to realize that Type M or light masonry mortar is achieving better qualities as far as bond is concerned. Type S has not proven to be forgiving in bond strength. This mortar will achieve 2500 psi. with no problem. It would literally become it’s on entity because of it’s strength and the bond would let go between the bricks.
Hope this helps in relaying your message to our fellow members.