A repaired bike will never be the same, you should look into a full replacement.
I disagree.. repairs to steel bikes can almost unnoticeable.
It's one of the main benefits of steel frame.
Often the repair area will be better finished then from the factory. And structurally no weaker.
Almost unnoticeable is also known as noticeable. I'd say repairing the steel is the less asthetical part of the repair and actually for most people the quality of the respray will be the thing and then it won't be a factory finish. If you have the option as the insurance will pay then new bike is also lots less faff.
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