To follow up on this, I did finally get the 555A valve I was looking at and have installed it to replace the cracked stock valve. The 555 valve is significantly larger than the 723 one and requires some modification of the mounts and control linkage did it's not impossible. It is setup with a power beyond port which I connected to the loader valve and ran a new return hose. All ports on the unit are SAE face o-ring, so adapter were needed on most hoses. My unit has already had most of the hoses replaced with JIC type fittings, so this was not a major problem - if you're trying to use the stock hoses it might be more difficult.
I also discovered that a JIC-10 bulkhead fitting works well as an adapter to the female o-ring type fittings that were used stock, and is far cheaper than the custom made fitting. I used one of these with an o-ring sized to fit the OD of the female fitting (don't remember what size, just got a kit and picked what fit) and seems to work well - no leaks yet anyway.
The backhoe feels a bit smoother in the operation with the new valve as well.
The 555A valve I have is a off a 2 stick, so the spools don't match up right - I connected them up identical to the original valve, but this means that the port relief valves aren't in the right spots. I am planning to disassemble the valve since it's sectional and put the sections in the correct order to fix this problem eventually. The port reliefs and main system relief pressures are also higher than the stock valve and would need to be adjusted - I haven't done this yet either.
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