I completely agree with your assessment for two reasons. The first is requirement and the second is cost. I was recently at Bass Pro and Smith 41's are selling for over $1K. You do not need this firearm for casual target shooting or plinking. I have a few Ruger's and they are great firearms.
I instruct new shooters and typically advise that they purchase a Ruger or Smith 22A for their first firearm. It is usually not long before I am thanked for the advise.