I've never shot and LCR, but I've held one and it felt great. But, the proof is in the shooting. When I bought my LCP, I regretted it when I first shot it. But, after about 200 rounds, I love it. I also read that the only good grip extensions were the Pearce extensions. I had a friend give me a spare Garrison Grip 1.5" extension, and I like it even better than my Pearce. The LCP is accurate (despite the nearly non-existent sights) and reliable as Hell. I've put almost a thousand rounds through mine with various ammo and never had a problem. And it's so light, you don't even notice you're carrying it. I've come home and walked around my house for a few hours before saying, "What's this in my pocket?"
I've also practiced the Tueller Drill with it, and can draw it very quickly from my pocket and put a round right on target. Again, I can't speak for the LCR, though I've been tempted to get one, but I have to recommend the LCP. I've also shot the LC9, and didn't like the way it shot, nor did I feel it was close to as concealable as the LCP. As far as the penetration power of the .380, I have a friend at work who used to have his FFL and he used to tell me the .380 bounces off of windshields. I managed to take a fridge door and prop it up in front of a deep freezer. I fired an FMJ round and it went through the door, through the first layer of metal on the freezer, the insulation, and broke through but didn't fully penetrate the inside lining of the freezer. Good enough for me.