I'd agree with not getting a 2" snubby if it was one of the light-weight ones (16 ounces or less usually). They are not very forgiving when you are just starting to shoot. But the heavier snub-noses can be very easy to shoot. As long as the sights are okay, you will be surprised at how accurate they are - just remember the basics, sight alligment, surprise break (let the gun shoot itself!) and follow-through with the trigger finger.
I'd love a 686 2 1/2" or a GP-100 3" - who wouldn't, they are the higher-end guns in that category - But they are not small guns regardless of the barrell length and most people would find them a little too big and heavy for CC. I'll buy one of them in the future but probably won't carry it. The SP-101 ussualy gets listed as the best of the smaller 357 magnums and the size and weight are about right for CC and shootabilty.
I have a 642 which I like for CC like many others but my hand isn't happy with it after 50+ rounds at the range. I went with the EAA because of the extra weight and bigger grip and because it was on sale and there was little monetary downside if it was a lemon. Happily it has been very nice. Taurus and Rossi make guns of similar size, etc but you will have to decide for yourself on how you feel about them - check this forum / the "how bad is Taurus" posts seem to come up about every 2 weeks. Charter Arms seem to be better but they tend to go for light-weight guns that maybe you would not appreciate. The S&W 60 (I think it's a 60) is a nice 2" snubby and all steel but not cheap.
Snubbies are great guns for CC and lots of fun. A larger revolver would be great for a range gun but I'd bet you'd end up leaving it in the safe most of the time.