I think you hit the nail on the head when you said: Ruger GP100. I owned one for years and if I were to get another one that's what it would be. Like you said, "built like tanks" and you can hardly beat the Ruger quality. But as is always the case ... it boils down to personal choice and nobody can choose for you.Twenty five years ago, when I first got out of college and didn't have a pot to pi$$ in nor a window to pour it out of, my uncle gave me a mid 80's manufacture S&W 586 as a wedding present. My collection at that time consisted of a $100 Chinese SKS, a Marlin semiauto 22 rifle, and an 870 12 gauge. It was my first handgun. He has since retired, gotten back into shooting, and I'm gifting it back to him as he's begun collecting various Smiths and the blued pre-locks like that one aren't just laying around anymore. And likely, hopefully no time soon, I'll inherit it back some day. The question is, what to replace it with? It's my only 357 revolver.
I'm only looking at 357 revolvers in this thread. I already own HKs, Glocks, a few Rugers, heck even a High Point (which is IMO a fine tackle box gun that works like it should and won't break the bank should it fall in the lake, but that's a whole different thread that's been done way too many times). I don't really have a need for a 357 revolver per se, but want one in the safe.
My thrifty side says get a Ruger GP100 and move on. They aren't necessarily refined, but they are built like tanks, look pretty good, and are readily available most places. However, if I could find one for 1500 or so, my less practical side thinks one of the new generation Pythons would be nifty.
What sayeth SB? Thrifty or "new shiny thing" cool? Or some choice in between?