If money is the issue what about a used freestanding wood stove instead of an insert? Thats what i have had for 20+ years and absolutely Love it and the set up.
My wife was from NYC and "had to have" the open fire not the wood stove. After only a few days of the wood stove she completely changed to Loving the woodstove. She's always cold so when it's 75-80F in the woodstove room she couldn't be happier! She has seen the light, your wife will as well.
I have a hard time trusting a used stove from an unknown seller. Never know the history or the true reason they are selling it. Used stoves around here are at least 750$ or more and the right dimension one even harder to find. At 1650$ new it’s really not bad.