Thanks for the input. I ended up going the replacement route with a regular tank. I was able to find a bigger tank (38 Gallon vs my old 28) and it was only 1.5 inches taller.
The hardest part was getting all the connections right but thanks the sharkbite connectors, it was pretty simple to do.
Overall it was my first time changing a water heater and I saved myself about $800 in labor costs that a local company wanted.