I have owned and shot both over a 35 year period, and they are both wonderful in the N-frame S&W. I have owned 4, 5, 6, 6-1/2 and 8-3/8 inch barreled N-frames, and the 5" handles the best but is the hardest to come by. I prefer the 4" to the 6", and the 8-3/8" least of all (too muzzle heavy for me).
For a personal defense revolver, the 4" model 57 in 41 mag would be my choice, as it is more packable and has less recoil than the 44.
For hunting or target shooting I would want the 6 or 6-1/2 inch model 629 stainless 44 mag. It is more powerful and the longer barrel will help your velocity and in taming recoil. In either case handloading is nearly a must to get the most shooting enjoyment out of your purchase.