I have no experience with lead-acid batteries, nor any other kind dealing with photovoltaic or other alternative electrical generation.
However, my research for our near future system has led me (pardon the inadvertent pun) to discount lead-acid batteries entirely.
They are very expensive, and they cannot last more than six years in bad cases, ten in the very best. That means that once a decade you are faced with apending $5~10,000 for replacements, and have tons of lead to deal with along with the dangerous acid. No thanks, I'll go another route.
I have recently discovered Thomas Edison's nickel-iron battery. It's not a direct, one-to-one drop in replacement for the lead-acid battery, but it comes very close. (The electronic controls are somewhat different, and the number of cells required is slightly greater.) They are even more expensive, but they last up to a century. Jay Leno and his wife each have a Detroit Electric car from the pre-WWI era, running
with the same batteries installed at the factory. Others have batteries that are 50 or 60 years old
and still running at the rated capacity.
I'll probably spend 15~20% more for the initial purchase, but that will be my final cost for batteries. They'll outlast me, fer shure, and probably the solar panels on the roof as well as the electronics to keep 'em going.
Neither nickel nor iron is toxic, like lead. The Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) electrolyte is far less dangerous than sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Of course, they produce hydrogen, but because the electrolyte is compatible with platinum, it can be captured and returned to the cells as water by catalytic cell caps, so there is no need to vent them, and they go a very long time without needing additional water. They operate in temperatures from -40~+60°C. They can remain uncharged for decades, even dry out, and there is no necessity for do much more than refill the electrolyte and charge them.
The Edison Battery Company was sold to Exide a few decades back, and they stopped making them. But there are three importers that I have found who can fill your needs. One's a dozen miles from our Colorado home. Another is in Montana, but I have forgotten where the third is located.
Check out the enthusiasts' web site http://www.nickel-iron-battery.com
where Ian Soutar gives much more detail on this technology.