I usually vote with my wallet.
I first bought a Taurus 85.
A little while later, purchased a S&W 642 Airweight. That little Smith is a noraml companion of mine nowadays.
Nothing really wrong with the Taurus. The S&W is more accurate, finished nicer, and the action is way smoother. I still own the Taurus, I find uses for both, I just feel the Smith is nicer, and hence better in my mind.
I had a Taurus 85 that had a hammer. It was a good gun, but I like the j frame S&W revolvers better. I had a 442 & upgraded to a M&P340. 38+p or 357 mag rounds are manageable, but your palm will feel it the next day.
The Smith & Wesson J-frames are the best.
I like the 442 personally. When they came oout about 15-20 years ago I got one (alloy frame) carried ever since. Two family members, both experienced shooter, liked mine and now it is their primary carry guns.
P+ is really no problem, just don't have any need in a 38 ad defense shots will be at 10 feet or less, and the standard 38 wad cutter is devestating at that range.
Any 2 inch snub nose is terrible to shoot (but excellent as a CCW). It takes a lot of effort to learn how to shoot them with any accuracy...especially the light weight DAO (double action Only) hammerless models.
Cisco. Since I've had mine for a long time; I've tried some things. The gun is totaally 'snag' proof, so you can carry it in a coat pocket without a holster. Thought I'd test and firing thing. I had a coat that was worn and ready to pitch out, put the 442 in a pocket at the range and shot through the coat pocket. this feature saves the question "when do I pull out and show a CCW?"
The gun shot thru the coat simple perfect. The pocket of the old coat had some lint and stuff in the lining, and it did smoke a bit, slapping the smoldering hole stopped it instantly.
I'd go with an older 'smith on the J frame. No mim parts or safety for me thank you. Have a 36 with a bobbed hammer and it does what it's supposed to do. Nuth'n wrong with the others mentioned, ( I'm a Ruger man for the most part) I just like blued steel and walnut. The 'smith 36 has stood the test of time.
Any of the hammerless S&W Centennial line that fits your budget the best. But note, the Titanium Airweight firing full up .357 magnum loads can catch your undivided attention. After surgery on my thumb (not related to shooting the piece) I had to give up the 357's. I'll always take the S&Ws as they wrote the book on hammerless design.