I never bought a crib. I had a pack and play (graco brand) for my son. I got the fancy one that came with a bassinet attachment for when baby was less than 15 pounds or something like that. And a changing table attachment well. It was still less than buying a crib.
Getting him to sleep in it is another story. But all the issues I had I would have had with a crib as well.
For my second baby, I found a rocking bassinet at a thrift shop (run by the Eagles). It looked clean but I took it apart and washed everything anyway. Since it rocked, I had a little better luck getting her to sleep in it. I was also lucky and after the first few weeks or so she slept from 7pm-12 midnight in it. During that time I got my toddler to sleep (he finally was sleeping in the pack and play, only took 15 months and the new baby as a deadline), ,did some housework, and had a tiny bit of me time. Then I would go to sleep right as she was waking for the midnight feeding. Just kept her in bed with me the rest of the night. I guess I was a lazy mom but I was seriously exhausted. Both kids turned out fine, they are 5 and 6 now. They still like to sleep in my bed if I let them, but sleep in their own about 80% of the time now.