Re: A commendable effort
"the pin pitch on those things in tiny and needs specialist kit and skills to replace."
To a small degree. The "specialist kit" needed is a hot air rework station, and the skills needed aren't really that hard to learn. BGA chips can be a bit of a pain, but it is something that a dedicated hobbyist can do.
Surface mount chips that aren't BGA are often even easier to solder/desolder than through-hole chips.