For me, it came down to one of three options: 1. Buy from a dealer who doesn't do installations and DIY-it (having the local building inspector sign off on it); 2. Buying it from a dealer who doesn't do installations and have a local chimney sweep/masonry guy install it; or 3. Buy it from a dealer who does installations. Buying direct from Hitzer wasn't really an option for me--no access to a commercial dock and forklift.
Two of the three dealers in my area (within 100 miles) don't do installations, although they had the best prices on the stove. After getting an astronomic estimate from my usual Chimney Guy, I called around to numerous other chimney sweep companies, etc. All of them either wouldn't install products that they don't sell or declined because they had never installed a coal insert before (although they had installed wood and pellet inserts). So #2 was out, and #1 didn't thrill me either (although I almost went with #1 since it would have left me more money to buy extra coal for next year).
I ended up going with #3, which was cheaper than #2 but more expensive than #1. In the end, I paid much more for the stove than I could have/should have (I won't embarass myself my saying exactly how much, but it was well over $2,000). And the dealer doing the installation is about 1.5 hours away, which incurred extra installation costs since I am out of their "normal" service area (I'm about 60 miles away from the dealer).
I'm OK with paying extra at this point. The prices are just going to keep climbing as demand increases, and supply will likely not be able to keep up with demand, especially as we get closer to Fall. Better to buy it now and take a relatively slight hit rather than wait a month or two and really get slammed. Plus it's getting delivered to my house and professionally installed, which makes me and my homeowner's insurance company happy. I had to pay extra for that convenience, but for my situation, it was worth it. YMMV.
Regardless of how you end up getting your Hitzer and what you end up paying for it, I think you made a good choice (but of course I'm biased). There are plenty of excellent stoves and inserts out there. What sold me on the Hitzer 503 was its gravity-fed hopper (no electricity needed) and the fact that it sits mostly inside my fireplace rather than outside (as the Alaska, Keystoker and Harman "inserts" do). As far as I know, there aren't any other inserts out there with those two specific traits.
Best of luck in your Hitzer 503 quest.