Ok, I wouldn't say Ruger is more durable than Smith & Wesson... if we were talking about Ruger being more durable than Taurus, then I'll fully agree with you there.
Ruger is an excellent choice of handgun.
.44 Magnum is, well, certainly appropriate for being in the woods with big bears, moose, or any other create that will utterly destroy you.
.357 won't make you as deaf or as blind (if fired in the dark) as a .44. Of course that is a bit of a joke.
If you prefer the .44 Magnum, go for it.
If you bought your ammunition at Walmart for example, you may be paying somewhere between 50 cents to a $1 per bullet. Reloading, after getting your setup going, will save you lots. You may be spending more like 10 to 20 cents per bullet depending on what material you use and where you buy it all from. I am no expert though but I know several reloaders that quote me prices all the time. I don't buy reloaded ammo because I'm afraid of double charges or a lack of powder.
Like I said, if you like the 44, go for it. You gun is not going to be really any larger than a 357 and you can use it for target fun, self defense on the street, at home, or in the woods.... same as a 357.