For what its worth.
Doing my rounds of the blogosphere and noticed several posts about your first gun purchase. Every one of them I read were full of useful information that shouldn't be discounted. But. I noticed, in particular, that nearly all of them steer you away from the lightweight snubbie revolvers with the usual; poor sights, recoil, etc. All valid reasons. However I noticed there wasn't much in the department as to the fleshing out of those details. I will attempt to do this. Probably poorly.
For starters, snubbies do recoil, a lot, I own exactly 1 for a reason, it isn't fun to shoot unless you are a recoil junkie and this is for a 5-shot .38 spl. Even with the porting the muzzle flip and palm bruising is more violent than anything else I've shot and that includes my Dad's .44 magnum. To put it simply, it hurts to shoot. I know I'll hear it (if anyone outside the usual suspects chooses to respond, if at all). "Aww does the itty-bitty gun hurt your wittle hands?" Short answer, yes. Beyond that, well, my "wittle" hands could be described as hams in some parts of this country and I'm not little unless you are around guys that make André the Giant look like common folk. At any rate I keep my snubbie for one reason, it's a spurless hammer, stainless steel and it fits in a pocket, no muss no fuss. Also being a revolver there is little to no chance of a jam, and no chance of a FTF or FTE (failure to feed and failure to eject respectively).
Second to the recoil is the sight radius, or lack there-of, if you prefer. Mine has a total of 3 and 5/8ths inches of it, vs my next smallest pistol which is 5 inches, in this case, size matters. The longer the sight radius the more accurate you can be. Because at longer distances any variation in the sight alignment is more noticeable and easier to correct. The reason I'm comfortable carrying a firearm that is lacking in comfort and accuracy is that I know its abilities and limitations. It is designed as a close range piece, not much over speaking distance. (Find out your abilities and know your limits). The snub is the next logical step in the evolution of the belly gun so to speak. (Formerly 2-shot pistols lumped under the common "Derringer" class). Which were designed to be hidden by a belt buckle and employed at card table distance (about 4.5 - 5 ft) or less, usually less. Hence the term "belly gun", its not only where you carried it, its also where you stuck the muzzle on your target. It serves that purpose well. Having 5 shots vs 2 also gives you extra firepower and more firepower never hurt unless you are the one facing it. Another reason I'm comfortable with carrying it is that I know what I can do with it under stress. I practice. Your mileage will vary. However, the key with any firearm is P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E. I don't as much as I should, but enough to remain confident in knowing what my skills are and more importantly, are not.
In closing, a snubbie in my opinion is the wrong platform to learn on. It doesn't let you figure out your abilities and limits for yourself, it tells you, painfully. It is a purchase best left til you have garnered some skill and knowledge with various other firearms so you know what it is and is not capable of. Forget what you have seen on TV too, most of it isn't real. What parts are real, are performed by people that don't do much else beyond send lead down range for a living. As an aside, I know people both personally and on the internet that are superb shots with small revolvers and sub compact semi-autos. This is because they shoot them, a lot, and already know what they are doing as well as what to expect.