1) Yes, I know that there are fresh noodles available, or I can learn to make them.
2) I found a tip retroactively, after I needed it, and I think it's good enough to pass on.
For The Big Game I made a particularly dense and thick lasagna, starting with cold sauce and hard noodles, and it took about 2 hours to finally cook the noodles.
Looking for a solution after the fact, I discovered that many cooks will wet the noodles in hot tap water for about a minute. It adds enough moisture so that the noodles cook in a reasonable amount of time, typically 45 minutes is what is reported. So, that's the tip.
The lasagna was excellent, it just took a long, long time to bake and settle.