... hypothetically if one were to say swap a sensor with a different one is there a way to pair the original and then just change the reference from the old to the new before removing the old one from the hub? Then you would have a bunch of things to recreate. Is it just as simple as changing the device ID?
You may want to read the following, as it is very similar to your question, although the below example involves switching Hubitat hub. Much of the theory regarding devices remains the same.
I should have remembered that! Just this morning I swapped one Zigbee device for another identical one because I broke the battery holder on the original one (ooops). I added the new device and then manually updated each app that was using the original device to use the new device. I had read Bruce's post but didn't think about doing that since I was working with a Zigbee device... but it's obvious now that it would have saved me lots of work.