Smith and Wesson 442/642 are swell for the money. Small light reliable. 38 special. Look at their m&p line if you wsnt to spend more cash but get an even lighter gun, with a tritium sight, 22, or 357.
Wish i could type more but im ending my break gotta go.
Ok edited..... Exposed hammer i dont recommend, you can get it snagged on the draw, it allows more debris to enter the gun, plus something i learned on the highroad that some lawyers judges media and municipalities will try to get a chsrge other then self defense, due to the fact that you cant prove you had to pull the heavy trigger instead of having thr gun cocked and accidentally discharge.
I say stick with smith because they have a great selection
Ruger sp101 great gun but 20% bigger and 50% heavier then a smith j frame.
Ruger lcr is a great gun, plastic and a little bulkier than the smith
Chsrter taurus and others most likely wont hold their value.
Smith bodyguard, nah, airweight or m&p for me. I carry mine everywhere i feel the need.