Let me make a couple of points here for consideration.
Different loads for the .357 have substancially different purposes. Good loads for the .357 vary from hunting to lighter loads intended to be shot from snubbies with differing bullet weights. Some loads are intended for large frame revolvers and for most folks work best from those guns and some meant for J frame CCW guns. Some make different levels of noise and muzzle flash. This noise can vary with the length of barrel used. It can effect how well someone shoots in a dark enclosed space.
It makes sense for folks to take these and other factors into consideration when choosing what gun and what loads best suit a specific application. Of great importance is how well you shoot a particular load out of a particular gun.
In my experience the .357 mag is a much more versatile round than most of those shot from semis. It's a decent hunting round with the right load and bullet and does well from a levergun. It can be more powerful than the 9mm or 45acp. Most such loads though are not so useful in an urban self defense scenario.