Most of my 50 years of shooting has been with SA revolvers. I have a LCR for CCW in 357. When I was looking for a snobby, I looked at a wide variety of them. I laid them side to side - LCR, S & W Bodyguard, S & W Airweight, et. For myself, the LCR "fit" my hand the best.
I own six other Rugers as well as S & W M & P, Colt Python and Colt AS. I like all of my Rugers and have had excellent experiences with them all.
I find the LCR light and easy to carry - I carry on the belt. I purchased the 357 model to have the option between 357 and 38 spl. I really like the 38 spl. cartridge and that is what is usually in it. My trigger pull gives me no problems and I find it to be smooth. I will admit, that like you, it takes extra effort to close the cylinder but it is certainluy "doable'. I find it to be accurate at SD distances and I am not bothered by the recoil at all.
I thought seriously about a S & W snobby and even looked at an older Colt. What made up my decision on the LCR was the fit and the weight. I make my own gun leather and for me, it's an easy carry.
Price? At the time, I could have gotten off a little cheaper with another make (I was looking at new and used snubbies) but, as I say, I have other Rugers and I love them all. I decided to take a chance and give it a try, and for me, it has worked out great as I have had no issues with my LCR. I'm more of a "revolver guy" but I do have a Ruger SR9 that I switch off to - primarily depending on where I'm going to be. I winter in AZ about 45 miles from the border and if we are going to be out in the boonies, I usually carry the SR9 just for the extra capacity. If we're just around town or up in to Tucson, it's usually the LCR as I am comfortable with the 5 round capacity and a full speed loader.
I don't think that if a person has a problem with their LCR or just plain doesn't like it for one reason or another that it's "bashing". We all have our own personal likes and dislikes and let's face it, any gun can have a problem no matter who manufacturers it. For me, the LCR works. For the next guy/gal, it might be that a Colt, S & W, etc. would be better suited for them. The biggest thing is that if it is their CC, they have confidence in whatever they are carrying and that they keep in practice and familiar with it.
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63