Ok, so taking everything in the previous thread into account, and going in prepared to spend more than the originally planned $300, I went to Fuquay Gun & Gold (Thanks, Pirate!) yesterday to see what I could find that both my wife and I would be happy with. I had decided that if I found something that would serve the double purpose of carry and practice, I would get it, but I was primarily looking for a target gun bigger than a 22.
There was a pretty good variety for a wide range of prices. I glanced over some of the .380's, but was more interested in the 9mm's. We found three that were fairly small, and, surprisingly, right in the price range I was originally looking at! We rejected one fairly quickly - my wife's hand didn't fit it well. The remaining two were a Taurus and a Kel-Tec, almost the same size. After quite a bit more consideration, we finally selected the Kel-Tec - PF9. We both liked how it felt better than the Taurus.
Today, we took it to the range. Seems it was a pretty decent choice. My wife was OK with the recoil - a bit more than she had expected (no surprise, moving to a 9 from a 22), but not too much. The only complaint she had is that it was a bit uncomfortable for sustained shooting - the back of the grip is a bit rough, so I'm going to look into options for padding it somehow (Anyone know if there are replacement grips or similar accessories available?).
So, all in all I'm pretty satisfied. And very happy that I posted here before shopping. The advice I got led me to consider options that I had not been considering previously, and I think I made a better decision as a result. Thanks!
(BTW, I took the kids & had them shooting our 10/22. Now my son wants a Cricket! Oh, and it seems that 22LR ammo is almost impossible to find in the Raleigh area.)