I wasn't trying to come off like a prick, hope you didn't take it that way.
Given the choice I'd opt for a any of the pistols (1911 design) you mentioned over the Taurus, except the Smith but that choice is based on some of the companies past policy, not product quality.
I only used the 1911 comparison because off hand, I can't think of more than 4 companies that as part of their a major sales, offer double action revolvers. Smith, which probably dominates the market by virtue of sheer models offered, Ruger, Taurus and Charter Arms who seems to be making a comeback. Never owned a Charter Arms, so I won't comment, but of the remaining three, I would pick Ruger first, Taurus then S&W (same reason as above).
Just thinking that a crappy guitar for a beat Kel Tec hide out gun for a Taurus 850 makes a pretty good deal for the OP.
As far as the CIA using Taurus firearms... I am sure somewhere, sometime, somebody got dead by an unknown person from an unknown country with no government ties, using a Taurus. I am not into advertising but I am thinking that's not a good angle