Go to some gun shows, and get this Ruger Service Six for under $400. This one was made in 1977. If you can, get a stainless one:
Or - get a police turn-in Model 65 S&W:
Actually, any of the Ruger "Six" series is a safe bet for a inexpensive revolver which will last you a lifetime. You can buy other brands for less, but they won't be "lifetime" guns.
It's my understanding the Service/Security/Speed Sixes were discontinued because Ruger could not produce them cheaply enough for the law enforcement sales. Whatever.
Smith & Wessons have better triggers, but you'll have to pay more.