I can't comment on the other rifles mentioned, but I like my Marlin 1894c with Skinner
aperture sights. Not sure if you ever intend to shoot .38 specials, but the Marlin cycles them as smoothly as .357s. From what I've read, that's not the case with all carbines.
Like PawPaw, my 1894 weighs 6.5 pounds, which may not be the lightest option, but it feels good in my hands.
The trigger pull is right around 3 pounds.
Mine was made before Marlin was bought out by Remington, and I think the general consensus is that the current production guns are a bit worse, so you might consider buying used if you have an interest in an 1894.