Go read the Taurus Quality thread - I have links to tons of stories. And, I;ve been collecting more since I posted that.
Sorry - but I say get a Ruger P95 or a Stoeger Cougar, if that is all you can afford. Those guns are much better quality than Taurus. I have owned both of them too. I can get a blue P95 for under $300, and a stainless one for $310-$320. Cheapest gun I'd buy to defend my life.