NOT TO SCALE, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED, DO NOT LEAVE WITH UNACCOMPANIED MINOR.
So after shooting the 642, peering long and hard at how I hold it, and sickening myself on a glut of internet forum BS and hearsay, I think I have come to a few conclusions on what I would like in a grip. I have also discovered that I don't think anyone makes my perfect grip.
My first problem is that my fingers are kinda like one of those freeeky-looking Aye-Aye lemurs:
The one that I have been looking for the most, since it seems like someone, somewhere should be making it, is a grip about the same size as the stock one, but with a covered backstrap. The closest I have been able to find is the Crimson Trace Lasergrip LG-405, and while I like the shape of it and am not opposed to the idea of a laser, I am not going to spend almost the same as what I spent on the gun itself for grips. Crimson trace ought to sell versions of their grips without the laser! But everything else I have been able to see with a covered backstrap also extends the grip, compromising the pocketability too much. The other benefit to a covered backstrap would be an increased length of pull, which would be good for my (aforementioned) long fingers. That's #2 on my picture.
The last possibility, that seems the most common, would be a grip that is thicker/beefier/rounder, but still with the uncovered backstrap and bottom. The main problem with this option is that it is hard to evaluate with a picture on the internet, and none of the stores I've been to in town have any grips evaluate in person (there is one more that I know of that I haven't checked, but so far no dice). The stock grip, when mounted, is about 1 1/16" thick--but manufacturers don't seem to put the dimensions of their products out there. New Jovian Thunderbolt just talked about some micarta grips that look pretty darn neato which fit this category. The $70 price tag is at the extreme high end of my budget, though. That's #3 on my picture.
Now to the bleg. Is there anyone out there with some sort of experience with aftermarket grips for a J-frame? Anything that sounds like it would solve all my problems (or some of them--or one of them)? Anyone who knows the width of the grips on their revolver so I can get an idea of what's out there? I am even willing to entertain thoughts of the dreaded "pink grips," assuming they fit my hand. Is there anyone out there who wants to laugh and point at me and my ridiculous requests (don't answer that)?
Oh, and here's some gratuitous gun porn: