In all honesty, based on decades of Colt, S&W and Ruger with some Taurus and Rossi and Llama experiences mixed in there, for a gun that will always be ready, is ridiculously easy to maintain and way more reliable than the best car you have ever owned, get a Ruger 357.
Either a new GP-100 or a used Security/Service-Six version or anything in between. I strongly recommend the stainless variants because of the long term ease of maintenance. There are plenty of used and new Rugers of the aforementioned type on gunbroker. Pick one. Call a nearby dealer to ensure he will handle the transfer for you if you buy it online, then go back to gunbroker and buy the one you want at the best possible price.. You probably already know this but a stainless Ruger can be kept loaded in a gun safe for a very, very, long time instantly ready to go with no significant maintenance issues beyond remembering it is loaded.
Last edited by superc; 04-17-2010 at 04:27 PM.