O Great Plumbing Sages:

The main water valve for my 100 year-old-house is leaking. It leaks from the top of the value around the stem. The valve is connected to galvanized pipe on both the street-side and meter-side of the valve (the valve is on the street-side of the meter). A local plumber inspected the valve and has told me that he would not repair it because replacing the packing may not stop the leaking due to the age of the valve (which we believe is at least 40 years old). He also told me that he would not replace the valve because the street-side connection is galvanized pipe and he's concerned that he may not be able to remove the valve without breaking the pipe or without damaging the existing pipe threads. And, there isn't enough room between the floor and the bottom of the valve to re-thread the pipe. So, his recommendation is to replace the entire line between the house and the B-box at a cost of about $1400. Is his recommendation the best approach??? Are there any other options that could be lower cost???