If you are not carrying the gun I would recommend at least a four inch tube for home defense and range use. I would get a .357-much more versatile and usually no more expensive than a comparable .38.
A Smith or a Ruger will serve well; pick the one that you like. S&W has made lots of good .357 wheelguns over the years; the L framed guns are hard to beat and they are available new or used; the smaller K frame .357 was a bread and butter gun back in its day.
Ruger's GP100 would be my pick of the current line but don't overlook the slightly lighter but still tough Security Six which can sometimes be found at a reasonable price on the used market.