Great report.I will have my wife read this.She is going to start carrying.She likes the SP101 in a 2"barrel.We are also from the Battle born state.We lived in Reno.Here's my 2 cents from a woman's perspective...
Whatever she will actually carry, that's what she should carry :)
And this is my PERSONAL experience and OPINION...
I am a very firm believer in on-body carry and for me, a revolver is not a viable option for this. The grip and cylinder are too wide and uncomfortable and it's much more difficult to conceal than a flat, slender semi auto. I started out with purse carry and felt like I was doing well, cause at least I had the gun with me! Then I began to train and realized that purse draw is not as easy as one would think, even with a specially made concealed carry purse. I practiced drawing from it with different scenarios, such as someone grabs my right wrist (strong hand), would I be able to draw and fire with my weak hand? The answer was no, or at least not very effectively. Then there's the 'ol "shoot through the purse" recommendation, which turned out to be easier said than done. Penetrating the old leather purse I used for this test effected the expansion and trajectory of the round quite a bit. I'm no scientist but in experimenting with these things, I "debunked" those methods for myself. Then there's the obvious argument about being separated from my purse, which not only disarms me, but arms my attacker!
With those factors in mind, I carry on body now, although I am very slender which limits me to your so called "mouse gun". I chose a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380 based on it's features, concealabilty, and personal preference after handling most of the micro compact .380's. I carry it in a Tagua gun leather IWB holster in the front of my waistband. Due to my build, this is most concealable place for it.
I am not like your wife in the way that I REALLY love guns and shooting and I train whenever I get a chance, but I definitely wasn't like that in the beginning. These little guns are not pleasant to shoot, so it is important to understand how they feel, shoot, and function. Also, if she is unwilling to train with it, what good does it do her if she pulls it out and it malfunctions? I know this is where the revolver vs. semi auto comes in but then again, the revolver is just as useless as a jammed semi auto if she can't access it!
Do you think you could interest her in a woman's firearm training class? It might sound silly but it really is nice for a woman to be able to practice and train with other women who "understand" her and the challenges she faces with firearm handling and carrying. Also, when I first started shooting, I read the book "The Cornered Cat" by Kathy Jackson. I read it when I didn't have much interest at all in guns and it really changed my perspective, answered tons of questions, and made me much more interested in the world of guns :)
As for gun choice, I saw some mentioning the Sig P238. I would be inclined to avoid this gun just due to the SA trigger and safety....cocked and locked with a safety is just one more thing to worry about for a woman who doesn't like to train anyway. I actually have one and although it shoots night and day better than the other micro .380's, the reasons I mentioned make it a less than ideal choice. Plus I found the safety and square features uncomfortable when pressed against my skin during carry.
I've owned and carried the Ruger LCP, Kel Tec P-3AT, and now the S&W Bodyguard .380. The Kel Tec is a miserable little gun. The Ruger is slightly better but not much. I really like the S&W and even bought one for my mom to carry :) It's been very reliable, although like all the micro .380's, it's not "fun" to shoot by any means. I added my own version of an aftermarket grip (tennis racquet grip wrap!) which really helped control the "jumping" out of my hand feeling. I also like the Kahr P380. If she's able to conceal something slightly larger, the Kahr CM9 (as someone else suggested), Beretta Nano (not my favorite trigger), or something in the micro compact 9 class might appeal to her.
As far as racking the slide, it's ALL technique and practice. I taught my 70 year old arthritic grandmother a proper slide rack technique using less hand strength and she's a pro now so I promise almost anyone can do it!
Sorry this was so long but I hope there is a bit of useful information to it! I'm happy to answer, from my female perspective and personal experience, any ??'s you might have that you feel may help your wife.