There have been enough posts since my last post, that I will respond to a few general themes as opposed to specific posts...
No one used quite those words, but a few said basically that. I have Taurus on my list because I do not think they suck. In fact, of the 5 Taurus handguns I own or have owned (all but one a revolver), I have had fewer problems in any of them than I have from my S&W 65LS (timing issues and lead shaving) or the SIG 226 I used to own, and I consider both the 65 and the 226 to have been quite reliable handguns overall. I have had far fewer problems in all my Taurus handguns combined (and multiplied by 10) than I had in the POS Ruger KP345 I used to own. I trust Taurus because I have had multiple repeat positive experiences with them, and most of them have had thousands of rounds through them (the post-Taurus buy out Rossi 461 doesn't have many rounds yet, but so far so good).
As for why only Taurus handguns are on my poll, I addressed that in my original post- ideally I want a 3" K-frame sized handgun, and only Taurus still makes new production K-frame sized handguns, and used S&W's (especially the 3") are getting pretty expensive.
If you don't like Taurus, please ignore the brand and address the revolver types (65= medium frame with fixed sights, 66= medium frame with adjustable sights, Tracker= ports, adjustable sights, and slightly smaller and lighter than a K-frame).
Well, there hasn't really been a theme of these, but I want to address it. I'm staying away from the GP100 because for me, it is bigger and heavier than I want for this purpose. Though with a 3" model in production, it is tempting to give it a try anyway, I'd probably go with the smaller 3" SP101 if I go with Ruger (I already have plenty of range guns, one of the main purposes of this purchase would be carry, both CCW and woods/camping).
Keep it 4"
Maybe. I have tried a 4" K-frame IWB when I had one, and it dug into my leg when I sat down. However, I never tried it with a canted holster, and I haven't tried it OWB. Either way, it may work (and with a canted OWB holster it probably would). So, if I go with a 4" gun, I may buy a holster and try it for a few hours before I make the choice to cut off the barrel. Certainly, if I go with the 28.8oz Tracker I'll try it, if I go with the 66/65 which are much heavier, lopping the inch off the barrel will also cut a couple ounces so I still may just cut the barrel.
Suggestions of various other guns
Some of these seem interesting.
The Charter Arms in .38 or .357 don't interest me, but the .44spl Bulldog does. The Taurus 415, not as much (I love .41mag, but I've moved away from it and sold mine due to ammo and component costs and availability).
I wouldn't mind trying the SP101. However, it weighs about the same as my Rossi 461 so it probably won't help recoil v. the Rossi. The Rossi has one more round, but the Ruger is available in a 3" barrel. Seems kind of a wash. The Ruger has a better reputation, but I already have the Rossi so I'm not sure it really would do much that I don't already have covered. Still, choice is always good
I'm becoming more interested in the S&W Nightguard series. Either the current 386 or the discontinued .44spl 396. They have an XS front night sight, and they are scandium so they weigh under 25oz which may help counter that they are L-frames (not the trimmer K-frame) and only have 2.5" barrels. They're kind of expensive, but they already have almost all the mods I'd want (and I might forget about the bobbed hammer/DAO conversion), so it may not be any less than the whole package once I got another gun to the smith for the work.