I have had one since they hit the street in 1991-I think a shrouded J-frame airweight .38 is as handy as it gets. As somebody above said, not a beginner's gun and not "fun" for practice, but very useful because it can ride anywhere. I use an ankle rig (I found a comfortable LEFTY ankle rig after going through 5 brands) or a cheap UM pocket holster. I've gone through several grip shapes and wound up with the Hogue that kind of snaps on. Bantam, maybe? I keep some factory grips and a T-grip around in case I need it for a pair of dress slacks pocket carry. I have a pair of big, squareback Pachymars I can slap on for fun shooting.
Weakness-yes, the sights are almost imaginary. The silver front disappears in sunlight, at least for my eyes. I blacken the front sight with marker. I read a whole thread somewhere...maybe the S&W forum...on improving sights, there are some options like that. The action is stiff as a board, maybe I should do "something" to smooth and lighten, but I'm always scared of light hammer hits so I haven't done anything. Maybe I ought to just dry fire the heck out of it. If anyone has the whole scoop from a scaredy-cat kitchen table gun tinkerer's viewpoint on re-springing and smoothing, I'd like to see it.
I have some Nyclad .38 loads (-P, I call them) for carry, and I shoot a light 148 HBWC for fun. NOTE: Target wadcutters in a speedloader is NOT a fast reload! I carry Speedstrips for spare carry ammo. This is my favorite gun for when I can't really dress to carry a gun, or actually when I'm too lazy to carry a gun, and rides with me constantly at work as a BUG. It is carried a lot more than it has or ever will be shot, but everyone who carries NEEDS a good J-frame, anyway, and this one is it for me.