You have months while you jump through hoops to make up your mind.
I can tell you that there are numerous people satisfactorily shooting steel framed Smith & Wessons in spite of the lock. If a 3/16" spot offends your sense of style, get over it.
Or you can haunt the sales sites, my wheeler dealer friend likes Gun Broker best, and find a pre-lock model at no more than the price of a new one. Assuming you know what you are looking at.
Study up. A copy of the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson is a big help.
They say there is no such thing as a stupid question but "I just bought this. What did I get and what is it worth?" comes very close.