their reputations for reliability is why the only handguns i own are Glocks and pre-lock S&Ws.
lot's of S&Ws to consider, just a few
K-frame...66, 19, 4" barrel
L-frame...586, 686, 4" barrel
all are 38 sp/.357 Mag., and they can be found below your max price.
i hope you reconsider buying the Taurus, especially when considering that you and your family's lives may depend on it some day.