Hi Sarva, the good news is that you are not restricted to European choices, though the bad news is that harps from the US will cost you a lot more than when you lived in the US.
As to harpsicles: there are several places where you could buy harpsicles in Europe, but frankly, here in Europe other harps would give you a lot more bang for your buck. And besides, the harpsicle strings are rather floppy.
As to a European budget harp, I already mentioned the German harp teacher and harp builder Manfred Gosewinkel at: http://gosewinkel-harfenbau.npage.de/ You could have a 33 string harp with two full octaves below middle C for 650 euros. These are no nonsense harps with a relatively low string tension. According to several German harp players, these are fine harps if you don’t mind them not being lacquered and that you see glue traces etc. There are no levers on them, but simple hooks for the chromatic notes. The builder says this is what enables him to sell them so cheap. If you don’t like the harp, you could send it back. No idea about shipping costs, though. You could inquire.
Instead of a 33 string Gosewinkel harp, you could choose for a real travel harp with a whole octave below middle C for just 380 euros or a harp going as low as 1.5 octave below middle C for 480 euro. Yes, these are very nice prices. Yet, you probably would like the sound of the largest harp best.
Personally, I would rent a 34 string Camac harp and buy it when I’d had saved enough money. As it is the time of summer holidays, you may be lucky that you could choose from several second hand harps in the Camac shop.
And yes, the Camac bardic is sturdily built and has a surprising big sound for its dimensions.
It’s great you will be going to a Camac shop! You will hear how different one model sounds from another and how the kind of strings used and light or string tension make a lot of difference in the way a harp sounds. Have fun!
As to the Latin American teacher: everything depends on the technique she learnt herself. Latin American harps have a very low string tension and quite a different sound from celtic and other lever harps. Playing very low tension harps requires using a bit of different technique than harps with a bit higher string tension. Of course, you could ask what kind of harps she owns and/or what harp education she got.