I picked up a 3.5 inch pre-Model 27 a year or so ago. It had been reblued, and was out of time. Had the timing dealt with, and now it's ready for another 30 years or so of use.
I got it cheap because of the problems. I was pleased to get it, because I've always thought it was one of the most attractive S&W revolvers; also, i was interested in getting a shooter, not another safe queen.
The original grips do not make it pleasant to handle, at least for me; I'm going to get a T-grip adapter, and see if that helps. I'd rather preserve the original looks than put aftermarket grips on it.
I tend to agree with the poster who felt that it was too big for its cartridge; it would have worked nicely as a .44 or .45, I think; Smith never made a 3.5 inch barrel for either cartridge, which is a shame.