After a week or so of telephonic to-ing and fro-ing, S&W has agreed to replace my unrepairable 625-10 revolver. It should take another 3 weeks or so, but I'm very much looking forward to trying out my brand new Model 325 Night Guard.
Same scandium alloy frame/stainless steel cylinder, same physical dimensions and empty weight, same caliber and Tritium night sights along with a gratis holster too, since there is some difference in initial MSRP between the current offering and the original gun (which is no longer being manufactured anyway). They're sending me the original guns grips back too as they will fit on the new one also. Not a Performance Center gun (which likely contributes to the holster inclusion), but frankly I'm not overly impressed with the differential. The principal benefit in my (admittedly limited) experience is in the trigger and finish. The first can be modified to accomidate my particular preference at least as well by a quick tune-up from my local gunsmith Steve Prater. As for the finish, this was always going to be an alternative concealed carry pistol mostly for summer conditions so the finish is going to take a sweaty beating no matter what.
Sometime late in April I will take ammo from the same box the first gun failed with and put the new one through it's paces. Pictures and drooling comments (hopefully) to follow.