I carried a 2 1/2" Model 19 as my backup gun for several years while in LE--and more often than not, it was my "off-duty" gun. I never failed to shoot less than a 290 out of a 300 with it every six months for qualifying and never, ever felt under-gunned.
Now, twenty-plus years later, it still sees some carry duty and it's my wife's "nightstand gun" when I'm on the road.
The stainless sister, Model 66, is equally as good.
You'll never go wrong with a Smith & Wesson and you'll never be under-powered with the .357 Magnum.