I am not a fan of the 500 either but they do seem to work fine for those who have them. I prefer the 870, I don't have experience with the 835, but if you want 3.5" capability I know the 870 used to have one in the express model. I want to say it was called a Super Magnum, I have a 3" it is called the 870 Express Magnum. Another one that will come in 3.5 is the Benelli Nova.
Vote Scott Walker for Governor June 5th 2012