Punishment and discomfort? Go shoot a 44 mag or one of the other bigger boys, and then the .357 is just another gun.
My 4 5/8" Super Blackhawk was no fun at all. A cylinder full was about all I cared to endure and often resulted in a bruised and sometimes bloody middle finger. Put a set of Hogue grips on it and it became "just another Gun". Hideous, but just another gun.
in retrospect take the LCR in 357 Magnum. Even with the factory Hogue grips I have absolutely no desire to ever shoot one with full house 357 magnums again.
And I do agree with @lklawson
that any performance gain that you do get with a 357 over the 38 in a 2" barrel, and there is some, is more than offset by the blast and flash of most of the 357's powder burning outside of the barrel. IMHO, the 357 needs a minimum 3" barrel. 6" is better, but I draw the line at around 4 inches in a revolver.