I'm just curious what a "documented" occurrence of lock failure is. One certified by the International Internal Lock Commission? Those that S&W admit to? Only those that happen in the presence of a famous gun writer?
Do people lie on the internet? Of course, but some accounts are probably true as well.
I think current S&W revolvers are overpriced and I'm not likely to buy one, but if I did, I would probably remove the lock and plug the hole, for aesthetics and to eliminate a possible source of failure, no matter how statistically insignificant.
Ejector rods, hammer blocks, and transfer bars are necessary to operate the gun. Internal locks are not.