I couldn't endorse your comments any more than you presented them. Based on my LEO "Dinosaur" time in our let's say, big City PD from 1969-2000, I have carried the Chief Special Model 36 solely for decades. I did purchase a Smith stainless Model 60 in 1974 for retirement, never shot it and returned it in 2000 in the box at which time I purchased a Smith 342 (no longer) Titanium Airlite Ti. I deactivated the old J-Frame Smith which I had previously Tefloned back in 1974. I sold a Colt Det. Spl. to the dealer but did purchase a Smith CS45 Chief Special .45 Semi-auto which broke about six years ago. Smith replaced it with a 9 Shield with a Laserguard Sight. My long winded response here is to also say that Smith guarantees they're handguns. They even paid for return shipping and offered to give me a 100.00 for my FFL's charges which I didn't accept because my FFL range/dealer didn't charge me as a club member. In passing, let me say that some of our detectives or cops would on occasion drop a Chief and break the hammer spur. They'd just smooth it out with a file and could still usually hand cock the hammer anyway, not that you needed to do that and it no longer snagged the inside of suit jackets. I never needed to and I did engage in a civilian clothes defensive fire exchange with the Chief in a bellyband. Handgun worked just fine. J-Frames hurt to shoot but are great to carry. If we could get ammo, we'd practice a bit more.
I hear your "pain." Unfortunately we are kind of stuck on striker-fired for very small compacts such as the 9 Shield. Keeping my old steel German PPK in mind, the Shield is the same size, weighs much less, can hold as much as eleven rounds of 9mm +P in lieu of .380 standard fare. But it's nice to have choices...so far.