Depending upon the insert, the cost of replacements can be more than 'a factor', especially for amateurs. Then there are inserts and 'other' inserts. There are very clear quality issues. Insert clamping should also be considered. With my larger lathe, I couldn't find an negative rake insert holder SMALL enough for the centre height and I had to make one. Not a huge issue, but it sure held up the works. If you're OK with paying for inserts, then go for it: as I said, I do use BOTH carbides and HSS and, BOTH have their place. Grinding wheels/grinding machines? Cheap as chips on the 'net and usually come with a couple of wheels. Not necessarily a 'green grit' wheel, but they're not at all pricey, either. Practice is the key: experiment with reliefs and rakes until you arrive at the stock removal/finish you want. Other than some very specialised and expensive insert types, why is it that most drills are made in HSS? And I'm far from being opposed to carbides, but am very aware of the costs and benefits of one vs the other. The 'throw away' bit, for a hobbyist, isn't all that appealing.