686s are a might heavy as wheel guns go, not N frame big, but bigger, heavier, and harder to carry than the K frames. But, they are tougher guns than the K frames. I've split the flat bottomed forcing cone on a K frame before. That's a rather notorious problem with 'em that Smith and Wesson was trying to cure with the L frame. That won't happen on an L frame. So, it's a bit of a compromise, lighter than the N frames, but stronger guns than the K frames.
Actually if you take a look at the weight the 686 is very close to the 629. My wife loves her 686as a house gun but bought a Tracker for the woods. I preceded my 58 or 629 until I got a Tracker .41. Her 686 action slicked up easier than any other S&W I have ever worked on. I prefer it to my Python.
I have its twin. I've posted pics of it here many times before. I've owned mine for 28 years. Its a beautiful thing to behold. As you say the trigger is absolutely perfect with minimal felt recoil. Its one of those guns I'll have until I take the big dirt nap.
There is an old timer at my outdoor range who is dead nuts with his 686 like you would not believe. He routinely puts a wad cutter through the same hole in his target. He uses the little 2in rifle targets at 7 yards.