the thing that sold me on the ruger new vaquero is the ease of getting 45acp cylinders for the 45 colt chamberings.
just got a pair of new vaquero 45Colt/45ACP 4 5/8 stainless sequential serials. you cant use the "ruger only" loadings in these guns. got em for right at 600 each way below the cass cost of 1600$
as for the 5 loaded and hammer on a empty chamber thats not actually how it was done in the old west. the correct way that the old west guys and gals who carried the original colts in the 1800's was all 6 loaded with the hammer cocked on the first click. the purpose of the first click was to allow safe carry of a fully loaded 6 round cylinder.
if colt designed it to be carried 5 and 1 empty they wouldnt have included a 6th chamber nor the first click cocked notch.
thats why there is no halfcock on the ruger vaqueros but it has a transfer bar instead.