I have 2 686's one from '80 a 6" no-lock another from '06 a 4" with the lock. Both shoot great. Yes that little hole looks like crap, and the fit and finish are better on the older model, but it's not any more or less accurate or reliable. My '67 M-19 has workmanship than my 686's, my '49 K-38 has better workmanship than my M-19...and so on and so on. Bottom line is none of them have been anymore or less reliable or accurate and all of them do what I want them to do and I love 'em all, although the M-19 is my favorite.
If you find something you like and it does what you want it to do and does it well and reliably, it doesn't matter.
"And remember, Abraham Lincoln didn't die in vain, he died in Washington D.C." - Firesign Theatre