I've got 5 kids and when I was first starting in my firearms hobby I was on a serious budget too. I too considered the Hi-Points and having shot a few of them among the many other guns I rented, borrowed etc. so I could shoot as many guns as I could I chose NOT to purchase a Hi-Point as a first gun.
While it is true that they fire MOST of the time you squeeze the trigger and they are quite accurate for their price I found them to be of inferior quality and they felt clumsy in my hands.
I chose instead to go with a Kel-Tec P11. It was smaller, more comfortable to hold, more comfortable to carry and aside from the long and heavy double action only trigger it was fairly easy to shoot.
Now I've got more firearms and no longer have a Kel-Tec. I did purchase a Hi-Point at one point in time however as a range toy and after several thousand rounds I sold it for $100 to a friend. To this day that friend still has that pistol and still shoots it regularly without failure. It is my opinion that if you had to choose between having a Hi-Point and NOT having a gun I'd choose the Hi-Point however if I had other choices I'd not pick the Hi-Point.
If budget is your concern I'd strongly suggest NOT getting a Hi-Point or even a Kel-Tec. Instead save up your money and get yourself something like a Ruger LC9, S&W Shield or (a bit bulkier) a Bersa Thunder 9. They're all within the $400 price range and as you posted in your OP, "you get what you pay for." This is especially an important thing to consider if you plan to carry your gun concealed. All three guns I mentioned are considerably smaller and lighter than the Hi-Point thus making them easier to conceal and more comfortable to carry. Since budget is a concern I won't suggest a .45acp because the cost of ammo is considerably higher than 9mm and when it comes to CCW, practice is key. The more you practice proper technique and shooting the better you become and that means the more effectively you can protect yourself and your loved ones should the need ever arise. The price of .45acp puts that caliber out of reach of most budget minded folks. I know this to be true because it was out of reach for me till I got my reloading set up.
When it comes to guns you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get a good gun. No you don't need to spend $1000+ for an HK USP but at the same time I'd suggest you do not spend $195 for a Hi-Point if you plan on ever needing it to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones. If necessary I'd even suggest selling your wife's Hi-Point and putting the money toward a better gun.
This is who we are, what we do.