Reloading .38 is a good idea. It's not difficult, just attention required.
If you do get a .22LR Semi-Auto pistol get one that is a clone of the big caliber pistol you're going to end up with. In other words, shop for the big caliber semi-auto then get the 22LR equivalent... THEN get the big boy.
FYI, you get a leg-up reloading the .38 with a revolver... you don't have to crawl around picking up your brass. Always a good thing.