Cracked or broken vinyl siding is no reason for despair. A simple $5 tool gets the job done in 15-minutes. This article also includes some useful tips on how to get the best match possible for your original siding.
FinishStone composite panels. I don't think I'd want them over the whole exterior, but they might be nice over the concrete block foundation. On the other hand, do they look too much like mobile home underpinning?