My experience is mainly on the S&W side of the equation because I've owned several S&W revolvers and only one Taurus. I am a S&W guy because I've always been very happy with their fit, finish, accuracy, triggers, and customer service. While S&W revolver are generally more expensive than much of their competition, they are IMHO, well worth the price.
The Taurus that I owned was a 445 snubnose in .44 Special. While it was, overall, a good enough gun, it did have a minor flaw. After 30-50 rounds (depending on the ammunition), the cylinder would begin to bind to the point that, while the gun could still be fired, the trigger pull became very heavy (the gun was DAO so I cannot comment on the SA trigger).
After a good cleaning the gun would be back to its former working condition leading me to believe that the problem was a slightly out-of-spec barrel/cylinder gap. While somewhat annoying, I didn't view this as a major issue because the gun was bought for CCW and I couldn't really imagine firing more than a few cylinders full in a self-defense situation anyway. I cannot comment on Taurus CS because I never had the opportunity to use it though what I've heard and read has not been encouraging. The primary reason that I no longer buy Taurus products is because their resale value is abysmal. When I sold my 445, I had difficulty find anyone who would give me even half of what I paid for it.
Another option you may consider would be a Ruger revolver. Rugers are less expensive than S&W revolvers though not as cheap as a Taurus (they are generally about halfway between the price of a S&W and a Taurus) and have excellent QC and CS. I've also owned a Ruger revolver before and was quite happy with it. The only reason that I sold the Ruger was because it was a bit too big and heavy for my needs (a 5 1/2" barrel Ruger Redhawk) and because it did not fit my hand as well as a S&W does. My younger brother now owns the Ruger and couldn't be happier with it.
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Well waddaya know, one buwwet weft! -E. Fudd
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