Yeah, you're right, opinions are like...well, you know. We have used the stock 392 rod in many rebuilds, but only when we are satisified that they meet the minimum requirements for the particular project; blown engines and big strokers tend to put alot of stress on internals and we will go to great lengths to try and keep a fresh engine alive. Whether the economy is up or down, the EarlyHemi is still an expensive rebuild and no one wants to do it twice...we want to be sure that the right parts are used. It is not just our reputation, it is usually someones hard earned money.
With a welded stroker, the additional cost of the 440 rod is simply the cost of the rod. You already have the journal work covered and the wrist pin placement is covered with the new pistons. And, as before, you have a fair bit of room to play with the stroke based on pin location and rod length. Check out some of the RB type forums, you may find that long rod that fits your package. Mopar used several long rods in the 426.
Many years ago we built a stroker using stock replacement Hy-Duty pistons (they were bought out years ago) with 0.984 pins, then bushed the small end of the 440 rod ( FM # 4-67314Y) for the 'smaller' pin and matched the new stroke to the piston/rod combo. With a 0.030 bore we had 415 inches and 10:1 compression. Not a real radical package but with a very agressive solid lifter cam and 4-speed we knew how the car would be driven.
Looking for the car to use can be alot of fun, and you old 64 is a perferct example of what can be used. Like you, I am also fond of the 55-56 models, but as you note, something like a decent #2 can go $10k. Of course then I look aroud at what $20k will buy and the old car looks like a good investment. Certainly better than my '101K'...lol If I can help out at all just send a PM.