There's nothing pleasant about shooting .357 magnum rounds out of any gun. The recoil is not a problem except in the little and/or lightweight guns but the noise and flash is like getting slapped in the face.
The big fat slow bullets of .44 Special (another shameless plug for my favorite), .45 Colt and .45ACP are pleasant to shoot, with 'roughly' equivalent 'power' of the smaller Magnum. In an enclosed space it could be dangerously loud. In a house, in a car, in an indoor range, I'd give a lot to have a big fat slow bullet over a small fast one.
HAVING a .357 Magnum does not mean you need to USE .357 all the time, of course, since you'll spend most of your shooting time with .38 Special. THAT is a pleasant shoot, however it's not 'preferred' to carry for self defense; use the Magnums for that.
With a .44 or .45, what you shoot for fun IS good enough for self defense.