Sounds like you should get a different 'Chimney Guy' to do an inspection/cleaning as the first one did not include an inspection in the proposal as you requested. Are you sure your code requires a SS liner to be insulated inside a masonry chimney? If the chimney is good you most likely do not need a liner.
Thanks, CapeCoaler. My chimney appears to be in great shape. Looking down from the top, I can't see any problems with the tiles or the joints. It's only about 15 feet from the top of the chimney to the middle of the fireplace opening. There's a bend that prevents me from seeing all the way to the damper, but looking up from the bottom through the damper, everything also appears fine to the bend. I'm not positive that I would need a liner for code purposes. I was more worried about having a decent draft. Plus, it will be easier to clean the round liner all the way down as opposed to trying to clean a square chimney part of the way down and a round pipe the rest of the way down. The liner manufacturer (Olympic ForeverFlex) states that the liner does not need to be insulated if the chimney is in good shape, so at the very least I'm going with an uninsulated liner.
Just ordered the 503 today. Price is going up $50 on 7/1 and an additional fuel charge of $50 on the delivery fee. Expected delivery is 4-5 weeks. There is now a damper on the 503 just like the 983, so no restrictor plate is needed if there is a overly strong draft.
Congratulations on your 503! I will probably have to take the price hit since I'm not ready to order just yet.
About the damper--I'm assuming that this is not the "air wash damper" on the lower right corner of the 503's door but rather a pull-out (slide?) like on the 983 (the handle at the top of the 983 that says "Hitzer")? Are there any photos of the new damper on the 503?
I've contacted two dealers so far. One has a good price on the stove ($1,747) but doesn't do installations. The other delivers and installs. That one quoted me $2,159 for the 503, $485 for the liner kit, and $500 for installation. Although the price of the stove is a little high, delivery and installation seem reasonable (especially when compared with Chimney Guy's quote). There is another dealer who I have yet to call, so I don't know if they deliver and install.