Although a little out of your price range, I would suggest the Ruger SP101. They retail for about $550 and are about as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. It is available in both .22lr and .357magnum built on the same frame, so transitioning would be very easy. I just picked one up used in .357 w/ 2 1/4" barrel for $375 out the door.
In the revolver world it is hard a good wheelgun new in your price range. You are limited to Taurus and Charter Arms. Taurus has a reputation for bad QC. However, they do have an excellent warranty. If this is your max, I would suggest a used Ruger or Smith & Wesson.