Ok, made some progress.
Went the route of FreddyK and just installed some gas logs in my current firebox. Picked up an 18" set from the Hearth Shop in Moore for just right at $1K, which was a pretty good price from what I was able to find around town or online. We ended up with a set called White Mountain Ponderosa that looks really good (IMO), it's a ventless set, so it should put off a good bit of heat. I did have a plumber come out and cut off part of my gas line that was frozen in place. He also set up the logs, but I think we could have managed that. That was $200.
There was another local guy, not sure of his name now, but he had the same set and wanted $2500 for them. Stupid.
Still thinking over the wall and mantle options at this point, but we do have fire.
I figured out that my fireplace didn't really add any heat to the house. BestBuy had a 42" LED TV on sale and I installed it in the fireplace opening. A usb stick with a 3 hour video of a fireplace completed the effect. The remote control gave me instant fire with no expense for wood and absolutely NO cleanup. Very few of our visitors realized that it wasn't real until I told them.