Well, all knowledge is good! I hadn't checked back the last couple of posts, but let me say that I had read some other credible (or so they seemed to me) forums re: HF hammer drills, and there were many that said that, while with many tools they'd agree that there's no such thing as a good, cheap tool, this was a situation where (given a light job and occasional use) a cheap hammer drill from HF worked fine for them. Hence, my decision to go with it.
In the end, it did work fine after adjusting my position and missing the steel, which was indeed what I'd hit the first time. Just wanted to clear up those points and give a conclusion to this job. I knew I should have paid more attention in 7th grade shop class...
Thanks so much for all the advice and help!