The Warsaw circle $W$ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuum_%28topology%29 is a counterexample for quite a number of too naive statements.

The Warsaw circle can be defined as the subspace of the plane $R^2$ consisting of the graph of $y = \sin(1/x)$, for $x\in(0,1]$, the segment $[−1,1]$ in the $y$ axis, and an arc connecting $(1,\sin(1))$ and $(0,0)$ (which is otherwise disjoint from the graph and the segment).

Some observations: $W$ is weakly contractible (because a map from a locally path connected space cannot ''go over the bad point'').

Let $I$ denote the segment $[−1,1]$ in the $y$ axis. Then $W/I\cong S^1$ is just the usual circle, and thus we have a natural projection map $g:W \to S^1$. The point-preimages of $g$ are either points or, for a single point on $S^1$, a closed interval.

Thus the assumptions of the Vietoris-Begle mapping theorem hold for $g$, proving that $g$ induces an isomorphism in Cech cohomology. Thus the Cech cohomology of $W$ is that of $S^1$, but it has the singular homology of a point, by Hurewicz.

Since $I\to W$ is an embedding of compact Hausdorff spaces, we have an induced long exact sequence in (reduced) topological $K$-theory (see, for example, Atiyah's *$K$-theory* Proposition 2.4.4). Since $I$ is contractible, we get that $W$ and $S^1$ also have the same topological $K$-theory.

Note that the Warsaw circle is a compact metrizable space, being a bounded closed subspace of $R^2$. By looking on points on $I$ one sees that $W$ is not locally path-connected (and, in particular, not locally contractible).

The above observations imply:

A map with contractible point-inverses does not need to be a weak homotopy equivalence, even if both, source and target, are compact metric spaces. Assuming that the base and the preimages are finite CW complexes does not help.

The Vietoris-Begle Theorem is false for singular cohomology (in particular, the wikipedia version of that Theorem is not quite correct).

The embedding $I\to W$ cannot be a cofibration in any model structure on $Top$, where the weak equivalences are the weak homotopy equivalences and the interval $I$ is cofibrant. Because then we would have a cofiber sequence $I\to W\to S^1$ and thus also a long exact sequence in singular cohomology.

$W$ does not have the homotopy type of a CW complex (since it is not contractible).

Even though the map $g$ is trivial on fundamental groups, it does not lift to the universal cover $p: \mathbb{R} \to S^1$, because $g$ cannot be nullhomotopic. Thus the assumption of local path connectivity in the lifting theorem is necessary.