@mTk, If home defense is your real goal...Shotgun. It is not as hard to fire and manage as a handgun IMO,unless concealed carry. But I agree, not as cool. And don’t get tricky....12 gauge. But like all firearms, don’t play around. Get training, and suddenly that “big kick” shotgun is manageable.
If it is recoil you are concerned about, the .38 special is quite manageable, when fired from a medium, or even a small sized revolver, such as a S&W J-Frame. I don't recommend a .32 for home defense. Underpowered.
Whatever you decide to buy, take the time to go to the range and practice with it, at least two or three times a year. It's actually quite fun.