When looking at revolvers stick with a Ruger, Smith & Wesson, or colt. For your budget Colt is probably off the table. You can probably find a used S&W but a ruger is probably what you're going to find. The Ruger LCR can be had new for around $450 or a used SP101 in that rough price range. The SP101 is built like a tank but that extra strength means it weighs more.
You can fire .38 special in a .357 but it's advisable that you pay extra attention to the cylinder when cleaning because fouling builds up in the space left by by the shorter .38 case in the .357 cylinder. Something to remember, but not to be overly concerned about.
I don't collect guns, I accumulate them.